I miss the peach snack pie
I’d sometimes call lunch
& think healthy for the fruit.
Strolling past the awning shop,
I mulled the blueberry mouthfuls
spooned from the damp wedge
Audrey dished up soon as I slid
into the booth at Cascarelli’s
where Steve contemplated
Kenneth Burke (his window
on Nietzsche), our mugs
of coffee steaming. I miss
the frigid milk that made
my mother’s pie edible.
Pie has soothed measles,
heartbreak, Chuck Melini
beaning me in Farm League,
Charles Ives, mother’s death,
father’s death, flu, crab lice,
the suicide of one friend
& the murder of another,
double embolism, linear algebra,
the unfathomable fact of, yes, pi.
I miss the hospital cherry
over which I wept as thunder
exploded over State Street.
Who wouldn’t miss the two
apple pies one grandmother
(the pebbly-voiced Methodist
who bunked with my sister
three months a year) baked early
Sundays to cool during church?
Robert Kocik’s buckwheat-crust
wild raspberry, the Clock’s mince,
The Village House’s blackberry
warmed the winter I feasted
on Pound, Levertov & what little
I could make of Zukofsky.
Jim & Larry’s sweet potato,
Mary Headrick’s pecan festooned
with scoops of Richman’s vanilla
after a repast of crabs & spaghetti,
my gemütlich grandmother’s quivering
lemon meringue? Only the luckiest
of men by forsaking such as these
could know the luxuriant yearning
that soaks his morning walk,
body no longer fit for pie fried,
baked, or set up cold in life’s first
Frigidaire, whether forked, fingered,
or broken in the hand & wolfed.
About the Author: John Repp's most recent collection of poetry is Fat Jersey Blues, winner of the 2013 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press. Discover more about John Repp here.