GloPoWriMo – Day 17

Applesauce, 1918 – 2020

Three cranks forward, one crank back.

My great-grandmother places on the
cutting board, stem-side up
six Newton Pippins, three Arkansas Black, two
Carter’s Blue, five Dudley Winter, one
Winter Queen, and a Maiden’s Blush

to chop, chop, chop–
half, quarter, cook it up!
Green skin, red skin, splotched,
dashed, and dotted,
cores and all in the pot!

Perfumed steam in the kitchen
out the window
through the neighborhood
and everyone sings,
“Grandma’s applesauce!”

Into the cast iron food mill,
crank it one way,
three for the sauce,
crank it back one,
clear the grate

Two steps forward, one step back

Into twelve jars,
the applesauce,

one for Smitty,
whose wife has the flu

three for cousins
whose dad’s out of work

two for the roofers
at Mr. Jones’ store

six for the volunteers
with the Red Cross

One turn forward, one turn back

One hundred and two
revolutions on
our small blue
planet

around the sun

and
again a virus
brings us down
or draws us to each other

as we stay apart

I cut Granny Smith,
Fuji, Gala into cubes,
simmer on the stove,
blend in the blender

and it’s applesauce
sustains us,
just us two,
alone in our house

but thinking of you.

Daily Prompt:  “write a poem that features forgotten technology,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Author’s note: When I was a child, my mom had an antique cast-iron food mill she used for applesauce, persimmon sauce, and split pea soup. I loved to crank the handle, and the rhythm of the crank was three forward and one back. The backward crank had a lovely grasping sensation as it cleared the grate.

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