Grandma’s Pancakes 


Even in old age when Death comes to the door
who would let him in?  Inundated as we are
with living we think there’s still laundry to do,
a book to finish, a DVD to return.

So it was with Grandma withering on the bed,
and why not—she still with the strength to sit up.

Then, tired of ringing the doorbell Death raised
his fist to the door, and Grandma spoke of the
Funeral Parlor she remembered from streets
she roller-skated as a child, a place that unless
the son and grandson of the undertaker took up
the business was long gone.

“Yes, Grandma, yes,” I said, then seeking her smile
I spoke of her pancakes, how her trick was to
prepare the batter the night before, mixing
the white of the egg with the flour first, then
the yolk, and placing it overnight in the fridge.

As I spoke the ninety-three birthday candles
of her life glowed in her eyes and happily
she said—“When I get to heaven the first
thing I’ll do is make everyone pancakes!”

So it was one perfect morning that my Grandmother
having prepared the batter the night before
made all the free and joyous souls pancakes,
a heavenly feast that I already have been
so privileged as to enjoy.

Published in This Enduring Gift – A Flowering of Fairfield Poetry, 2010

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