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Il me manque (missing in my life)

is driving freely in my little white Honda

beween the rolling hills of Pennsylvania

en route to NY or perhaps to my sister, Susan’s, where we celebrated

food and freedom to do and be what we chose

O, the things we did together, our homemade pizza was a party performance of

collaborative cuisine as we each discharged our part, she, doing the slicing,

salting and draining of fresh tomato, while I slept in. She later rolled out the

thawed whole wheat crust, very thin, while I cut fresh herbs -- basil and oregano--

from outside her kitchen door, rolled them tightly together and sliced them finely

for sprinkling, her rolled-out crust often took on odd shapes, we’d laugh viewing

it and declare it South America, or whatever continent, country or state it seemed

to favor. I spread her thawed pesto with added olive oil ever so evenly on the

crust, then arranged tomato slices carefully enough that barely a speck of crust

peeked through, and sprinkled herbs on top. While I was thus engaged, Susan

grated many cheeses, Halvarti for good melting, I insisted on a variety of others

for bigger flavor; once we took a leap and added a little preserved lemon, minced,

so it could not overpower, (Yum!) I covered all with cheeses as evenly as I could,

then our joint creation went on her pre-heated pizza stone and into a very hot oven

– 450 degrees – the timer was set for thirteen aroma-enhanced minutes.

when the timer sounded, we’d peek in, generally agreeing it begged another

minute or two. Once the time was right, Susan slid it off the hot stone onto her

enormous cutting board, custom-made by Peter Ward (a joiner of wood), then

used her big chefs knife to divide our prize into roughly equal slices, I chose

inner pieces to avoid an excess of crust (which she likes more than I). We carried

small portions of our feast (more than we could eat) into the oldest part of the

house, her family room – built as a two-room, two-story dwelling in 1726, the

glass in those ancient windows had “melted” through the years as old glass will

do, into a distortion of ripples, allowing for the cold of autumn through spring to

leak through, but her old fireplace -once a large cooking space – nearly big

enough to walk into, gave us a modicum of heat along with afghans on our laps

and knees

Let it snow, let it snow. By now, I’d have finished my morning tea, a big mug of

Earl Grey,

set the coffee maker to make just one cup of strong brew (which my sister does

not drink), taking the remainder with me for the (65-mile) drive back home,

stopping along the way to buy fresh fish and vegetables for dinner that night. How

I loved to cook for myself each day in my own little L-shaped, corner of a kitchen

designed for the building of my house of galvanized steel which replaced the

1971 Buddy trailer that served as home for twenty-five years until I had a real

house up there on my beloved mountain ridge, Stonemont, aptly named by early

Pennsylvania-German settlers. A hole dug in that ground turned up barely any

soil, but mostly a pile of rocks and stones - red, like the earth still clinging to


Kate Potter is a nontraditional, nonacademic poet. Her work has appeared in numerous print anthologies, as well as online in TheTYPESCRIPT. She has been reading, studying, writing and reciting poems for forty years. Professionally Potter flew to Western Europe and the Middle East as a flight attendant and French translator forTWA until a corporate takeover ended her career of nearly thirty years. She then became an independent art dealer. For most of her life, Potter was a community activist, promoting all of the arts and advocating for a healthy environment.

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