Pie Crust

Jun 1, 2023

“Pie Crust”

“Pie Crust” was one of my first poems. For anyone who saw the first cut, you’ll see I’ve taken a deeper dive in the true pain of the competitive relationship with my mom…which yielded a profound space in my heart for her.

Writing is not for the faint of heart – in fact, the heart is the matter!


Pie Crust



It all started with the neighbor’s rhubarb

“Would you like some?” Oh, yes. I love rhubarb.

Childhood memories of late summer stalks,

sun-drenched bitter goodness,

a full grocery bag handed over the fence.


Until that day, flour had never dusted my counter.

Mom was the pie maker, a fierce competitor.

I stayed in my lane,

and perfected chocolate chip cookies.

(Dad always snuck extras.)


She stayed in hers

making pies, homemade cinnamon rolls, gidgy-gadgets,

pineapple upside-down to die for.

Cookies were for rookies.


But there it was, like a taunt from the Universe,

an invitation to disrupt my inner order,

Make a pie crust from scratch

and fill it with this late summer,

perfectly ripe rhubarb.


I miss her pies.


She’s been gone for years now

never a pie-baking lesson shared

short of overhearing hints about mixing “Crisco with butter”

and glimpsing over her shoulder

as she layered left-over dough with butter and cinnamon sugar.


A “Cinnamon Scrap Pie” she called it.

My favorite.


Now, girded with self-discipline,

warding off insistent doubt and incoming fears

of what she might think or feel,

I googled “best pie crust for beginners.”


Laid icepacks on the counter to cool the granite

and began combining dry ingredients.

Cutting-in the solids with my fingers

the way she would, standing over a cutting board

(the one Dad made – just the size she needed).


Cold water taken from a glass dribbled from her fingers

to get just-the-right-feel,

something, she insisted, no recipe could provide.

A potter handling clay.


Retrieved the much-used 1940’s rolling pin

from the back of the drawer,

original green painted handles

now cracked and peeled.

A remnant from her kitchen

I had kept for myself.


Handles in hands,

I began to roll.



What she lacked in tenderness for a sensitive child,

she muscled through with grit and gristle.

My heart was often the casualty.


Perhaps tortured by an indelible haunting

after losing her first within hours of birth,

never encouraged to meet or hold her,

she returned home from the maternity ward empty-handed.


Arms aching from what was missing,

she turned away the cemetery-plot salesman,

tossed the flowers …

determined to try again, she convinced herself

there would be joys in motherhood,


only to learn how her future child would expose,

every day,

the never-forgotten pain and unhealed wound.

She closed the bedroom door to shut out tears,

chastised handprints on the walls,

leaving us both painfully alone.

The once hoped for joys …




She’s been gone for years.

I pat memories with butter

and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

just as she did with those cast-off pieces of dough.


Fashioning something worth keeping

out of the cut-away snippets another might have tossed.

The few shared moments left behind

turned into a sweet heap of belonging.


My first pie –

made with her grit.


Grief and Grace
In Case I Forget


  1. ❤️

    • I know, right? Explains so much….

    • So beautiful.

      • TYSM for taking the time to read : ) Much appreciated.

  2. Infinite Gratitude

    • TY for reading and commenting – so encouraging : )


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