Wheat Cakes and Gowns with Puffed Sleeves

Seems like Granny Jenny lived in her kitchen.
Her faded bib apron seldom rested on a peg,
It’s deep pockets a cache for surprises, lemon drops
And silver whistles waiting to be found by small hands.

In one corner, her old green rocker that walked
As she rocked, starting out here and ending up there,
With me on her lap pulling pins from the braid that trailed
Down her back when the last one was out.

Her prized possession sat on the sunny south wall…
A Singer sewing machine powered by treadle;
The birthplace of all the clothes that we claimed.
She cut patterns from the newspaper, yet the fit
Never failed.

Her apron wore wildflowers that bloomed so profusely
There was barely room for their names. Those were the days
When flour and seed came in cloth sacks. Miller Jones
Kept a sharp eye for the best ones around.

My Granny pulled dreams out of those bags of ground wheat,
Dreams of pastries and cakes, and gowns fit for a queen.
first posted at The Peaceful Pub on 7/27/2011 9:26 P.M.

8 comments

  1. Sarah, our grandmothers surely were related. At least, I know they would have been good neighbors. You took me home with you in this one. I like it there. Thank you for posting it again.
    ptc

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ptc,

    Many thanks to you. Your words make me glad I did the repost.

    I can imagine our grandmothers swapping recipes and just think
    of them at canning season. No wonder we are poets. There are
    so many memories to share.

    Sarah

    Like

  3. Many thanks, Douglas,

    First for remembering the poem and the place it was born,
    and thanks too for identifying with it…In my opinion that is
    a high compliment.

    You are appreciated.

    Sarah

    Like

  4. Hi Sarah

    This is just a lovely and reflective look at your grandmother and a different time in America when things seemed simpler but more generous and meaningful. I love the title and how you relate all the details that enhance the character of this remarkable woman. I can just picture here working the treadle and sewing those “gowns fit for a queen”. Sewing is a lovely art as well in those days as an essential one. It was an extension of the woman’s craft, and character. The voice in this one is perfect for the theme; and in particular, I love these lines —

    Those were the days
    When flour and seed came in cloth sacks. Miller Jones
    Kept a sharp eye for the best ones around.

    My Granny pulled dreams out of those bags of ground wheat,
    Dreams of pastries and cakes, and gowns fit for a queen.

    Those days indeed were special with an heirloom magic that pervades our hearts and minds today longing for something I think has been missing from modern society. Thank you for sharing this one!

    I love it!
    Wendy

    Like

  5. Sarah,
    I loved reading this today. Your details pull us in to scenes in your grandmother’s home. We almost hear that Singer making those gowns.
    Jan

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Many thanks, Jan,

    Just imagine all the inventions, discoveries and developed technology
    that have occurred since that treadle sewing machine. I bet every poet
    of every era has thought they have lived in the most exciting times the
    world has ever known and for each of us, it is true. You always make me
    glad with your replies. Thank you again!

    Sarah

    Like

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