Endless Harvest

oil on canvas

“Go next door and return these pans,”
my mother told a four year old me
and my two older sisters
“return these to your grandmother
and come straight home.”

As the sky was barely holding on
to the late summer sun,
Têté’s long white hair
and silk blue robe
swayed as she greeted us
on her screened in porch.

“Take these back home
and give to your mother,”
she said with a kiss
handing one sister a pie
covered in foil
and the other a jar
of strawberry preserves.

“What about me, what should I carry?”
My grandmother thought for a moment
then pinned me with her brown eyes
and said with intent
“carry yourself!”

I actually tried
as we hurried back home
I put one arm through my short swift legs
and the other across my head
grabbing one ear as a handle.
No one could see me.
The sun had set.

The pie soon was eaten
the preserves lasted a few days longer
we devour sweets quickly,
but her words to me on that night
have been an endless harvest
like the horn of Amalthaea
offering the richest of goat’s milk
to a baby Zeus.