On Leaves and Vines

How many dinners and Sunday parties
Chairs and conversations
Have surrounded this fine oven china
Made in England
My great grandmother’s Royal Doulton
Decorated with a yellow apple, a pear
Some grapes, two berries
On leaves and vines
How many tables has it rested on
Cities, rectangular, round and square
How many ovens
How many cooks
Books
How many holidays
Sweet potatoes
Stuffing
Baked macaroni with cheese and ham
Today I reach back
Into my cupboard
In the cooling air of late November
I think of my young mother
Hers and hers
Reaching back into their cupboards
In the cooling air of late Novembers
Filling hungry noses
Hungry homes
With this same yellow apple, a pear,
Some grapes, two berries
On leaves and vines
How many feasts
How many more
Will surround this royal dish of yesteryear
Feeding my family once more

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