Grief’s Kitchen

First published in Clover #13, Summer 2017, page 106. Originally written in October of 2006 for the poet and artist Francine Porad, who died 27 September 2006.       +       +

Today’s “Jumble” has the letters y, e, r, m, e,
a word you would have loved.
It may mean something else,
but today I leave the letters scrambled.
I read it Frenchly, not as “yer-mee,” but “yer-may,”
and imagine it a fancy weave of cloth.
I want to keep “shuby” as it is, too,
not as some sort of jewel, but a dance step.
And “kipect,” surely, is currency
for a country we’ll never enter
but can pay a visit through that word.
And then there’s “borrek,” which I take
as a cooking implement,
something necessary
to measure leavening.

I am resolved to this,
not knowing today’s “Jumble” answers.
And just then, folding up the paper,
I imagine baking another loaf
of that pumpernickel you used to bake.