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April 2018, vol 14 no 1

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Jo Balistreri


Gramma rises early in spite of cold North Dakota springs. It is baking day on the farm. A garden of breads spouts in the kitchen: whole wheat, sour dough, white, cloverleaf rolls, cinnamon buns. Pie crust is rolled, raisins soaked in rum. Nutmeats are roasted.

The first hot and sugared pie scraps are handed to my sister and me, warm now in front of the old wood stove. Gramma tosses apple skins on the logs. They spit and sputter. She checks the dimpled dough, springy to her touch. We sit on the rag rug, look at the opened page of Adam and Eve that our mother read us last night in the children’s bible. Already at seven, we know paradise. My sister says, "I would have taken a bite too."

scattering crumbs
a blast
of winter