clear larder shelves, ready for her Lenten fast.
But first, a family feast to fasten slackened bonds.
If only she can get them here, circled around
her worn, pine table – stained by years of angsty dramas,
inked by mundane routines. She whisks her eggs and milk,
stirs in stoneground rye: then lets the mixture rest,
cold on her chilly windowsill. Yesterday, she called
her young, said Please come, forget your differences.
Each one, stranded from the rest, answered, Thanks, mum.
I’ll try. See if I can. She buys muscovado, sweet crystals
to soften acid lemon juice. Fills a carafe with muscatel, for toasts.
Hot fat sizzles, spits from the frying pan. Her doorbell
rings and there stand her brood of prodigals – ready
to eat and drink: free of hiccups or choking grudges.