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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 4, December 2017

David Terelinck
Biggera Waters, Queensland, Australia

Apron Strings

I don’t know how she'd take to these modern times. Her kitchen was powered by a log-fuelled AGA range. There was no whirr of an electric beater. Just her, humming a Bing Crosby ballad, whisking eggs by hand, and folding in flour with a wooden spoon.

I follow the hand-me-down recipe assiduously. Still, something is missing at the other end. It doesn't taste the same. I check the list again; every ingredient in the carrot cake is accounted for. Still . . .

Is it the carrots? Fresh, as Coles would have you believe. But not pulled from the ground by her hand and washed clean in the laundry tub. Or is the sin more original than that? There's no denying my guilt; I did not plant the seed nor nurture the first feathery green tops as they emerged from the soil. No breaking of sod and forking in of compost and fertilizer.

The eggs, with bright yellow yolks, were not collected this morning, still warm, from beneath a clucking Orpington.

I put the kettle on and think back to those cold July mornings in front of her stove as she bustled the day into being.

spooning tea
into her Wedgwood pot
decades later
I'm still tied fast
to those apron strings



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