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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 8, 2022

NOTE:  On this Mother’s Day of 2022, whether you are being celebrated, celebrating with others, and/or remembering others on this special day–I wish you a sunny and wonderful day.  In this WORDWALK post, I am sharing with you a new poem which I wrote about my mother during National Poetry Month.  Studies indicate that our best sense of remembering is through our sense of smell; certainly, this poem brought forth some of those olfactory memories for me.  Instead of recalling the fragrance of Evening in Paris cologne (trademark), I was remembering aromas of grapes and cake.

* * *

Mother’s Homemade Grape Jelly

poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

When my parents married in 1942,

my mother–surprisingly for a woman of her generation–

did not know how to cook nor bake.

My father taught her and taught her well.

My mother must have been a quick learner in the kitchen

because this business woman, whose favorite season was “Tax Season,”

became a great cook and excellent baker.

(Yes, her father had been a professional baker

of Italian bread and breadsticks.)

I recall the sweet fragrance of grapes–

either from my paternal grandfather’s grape arbor

or from my maternal grandmother and uncle’s grocery store.

Quickly and efficiently, my mother made grape jelly;

then, she sealed each tasty jar of sweetness

with paraffin–a scientific wonder to me as it cooled and hardened.

In my younger days,

I did not care for butter nor peanut butter:

I just put my mother’s grape jelly

on thick slices of Italian bread or–

Wonder of wonders–

Toasted Wonder bread.

Most special to me

was when Mother made a long, thin sponge cake.

After the cake was baked,

my mother magically spread grape jelly atop the soft cake

and then rolled up the delightful treat into a dessert log

of swirling sponge cake and jelly.

She topped the jelly roll with sifted powdered sugar

and placed it on a magenta tray,

designed with yellow roses.

The combined fragrance of cake and grape jelly,

the texture of the spongey cake and moist jelly,

the swirling slice of yellow and purple

craft a sensory picture in my memory

that reflects a photo of my mother’s

sweet gift of baking

for those whom she loved.

* * *

                In loving memory of and with great gratitude to my mother–Mary Massa (November 25, 1914-July 3, 2001)–I dedicate this blog post and poem.

* * *

Happy Mother’s Day wishes to my Aunt Kathy, my sister, my nieces, my cousins, my friends, and my WORDWALK readers!

Blessings to all! 

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

May 8, 2022, Sunday


From → Uncategorized

  1. mfanyo permalink

    Thank you for remembering our dear mother with your beautiful words on this special day! Love to you and Willow, Mary

    Sent from my iPad


    • Mary–So glad to hear that you had a lovely Mother’s Day with Lee,
      Kassi, and your three Colorado grandchildren!

      Have a good week–Alice and Willow

  2. Happy Mother’s Day, Alice! Thank you for sharing such a lovely poem. Harper and I enjoyed going to the Domes today and smelling the lovely aroma of flowers there. Hope you had a wonderful day today! Jenna and Harper

  3. What good memories of your mother’s tasty homemade food. Your introduction of colors of the plate, sealing the jelly for preservation, and the tastes make this poem memorable. Making jelly, canning fruits and vegetables and baking was an important part of my life as well.

    • Good morning, Lynda–Many thanks for your nice comment on this post!  I
      hope you enjoyed a lovely Mother’s Day.

      Take good care, and have a wonderful week!  Alice and Willow

  4. What a delicious dessert, I’ve always had a sweet tooth and I am a mother of four so this was so beautiful. Thank you so much for this.

    • Hi, Rebeca–Thanks for reading and commenting on this post!  I hope that
      you enjoyed a very happy Mother’s Day!  Thanks for sharing!

      Take care–Alice

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