I remember Uncle Joe, my father’s oldest brother.
A drummer in his own right; locally famous
with a penchant for kicking back the brew and food.
His heart a ticking time bomb; he couldn’t match it’s beat.
At a birthday party in our kitchen
he collapsed with a major coronary, going to drum for the angels.
with his Polish dialect, telling stories of his brother.
In the old country, his sibling would not leave his kitchen,
wanting to devise a scheme that would make him famous.
But, my Grandfather had his brother beat,
this “New World” offered a better life and better food.
I remember the taste of my Grandmother’s food,
through the recipes she had handed down. Her angel
food cake was delicious, which no one could beat,
and living near her brother
she always made double, he thought her cakes were famous
(at least they were around her kitchen.)
She learned what her mother had taught, her food
mirrored all she did. Mom had no delusion of being famous,
she had her hands full raising her six angels.
Between her and my Uncle Harry, her brother,
there were twelve of us at the “kid’s table”. You had to beat
the others for the good seats. But, sitting down to eat
in that corner of my mother’s kitchen,
I remember always being sandwiched between my cousin and her brother
and becoming the middleman in the constant food
fight they would wage, though they pretended to be angels.
I knew better. But around our family, their battles were famous.
and be read by millions. But, I formed this strange habit. I liked to eat,
and I didn’t think my skills would have kept me from joining the angels
through starvation. So, I scribbled my song lyrics and poems at our kitchen
table, and kept myself close to mom’s inspirational cooking. But, food
for thought, I also shared the table with seven others.
So, now my siblings kid their famously studious brother
that his bountiful words are food for the soul. But, you couldn’t beat
that kitchen for the story or two that we all tell. We each have our own angle.