Carrie George

when I asked to help you
make your famous chocolate cake
and peanut butter icing. I did it so
I could write down each ingredient
and quantity, so I could gift
the recipe to my mother.
It’s just that age is such a secret.
I don’t have the breath to ask you
over the hand mixer’s snore
what you saw in your first cracked egg,
what the broken yolk whispered,
how it felt in your ribs to crack along with it.
I am not one to dredge
up old rivers, to hurl worry stones
and fish bones in your eyes. Grandma,
I want to know, are you tired of separating
yellow from white? Tired of forgetting
that one night, one man—forgive me—
one lie is enough to hold you forever?
Are you tired of granddaughters
licking the spoon and looking
over your shoulder, trying
to taste a pain that isn’t yet theirs?