Mention something from the past remembered with love.
And so I do. Spaghetti sauce on the bus!
You getting up at dawn to cook it, I carrying a pot
Across two states to Princeton, New Jersey
Where my professor lived
Students met to read their poems
Eating the sweet red specialty
Lugged up and down stairs under a huge lid.
No one could buy that kind of cooking, at least in those days,
Although now of course
There’s a restaurant on every corner
I don’t know how I asked you, father, to prepare this dish
Or whether in fact you offered it knowing
Your meal was rare in American houses.
You remained at home that day while I entertained.
I think you hoped to hear them say how sensitive you were,
A loving father, and so they did, admire you this night, poets
Heard by candlelight, a fireplace, a stove.
In a different room far away, you most likely wished I’d say
They liked it, Italian food, something different for me to share. Perhaps
I would say good of you. I’ll bet you went to bed easily: this time I’ve made her happy.
Copyright © by Grace Cavalieri. Used with the permission of the poet.