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.