R. G. Bell
Great-Grandmother's Frying Pan - Poem by R. G. Bell
Great-grandmother’s Frying Pan
Thinking it mine, I seldom think it hers.
She had it first. Wedding present? New?
When? A hundred years? No, more than that.
Its use not altered in that time, or much.
It’s good for chicken, eggs, bacon or beef.
No. No eggs now. Too large for one, alone,
But not for widow with two small boys, alone.
They kept chickens, so there must have been eggs,
The ones not sold for cash. Times were tough.
Without bitterness, (much) , both sons said as much.
I might be forgiven not thinking of her.
We never met. Missed by thirty years. I know
She lost a husband young, malaria,
And then died younger than I am now, cancer.
Was her stove wood or gas? Wood, let’s guess.
Mine’s electric. Would she think that made it less?
The pan still works as well, or near as well.
There’s skill in skillet. I possess her pan,
Still, it didn’t come with inherited skill.
It’s all I have of hers, all any have, perhaps.
There was a photo. (Stern!) It might be found.
Nothing more of her life to show, a pan,
Unless you count the children, greats and gran.
It’s mine for yet awhile, a frying relic,
A fine relic, but who will claim it next?
R. G. Bell 2009
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