Wind howls like a wounded coyote.
Rain pelts down the tall window panels, but
steam rises from the twenty-quart pot.
Lemon zest kitchen walls comfort.
Flatware is wrapped in paper,
lined up on a red cloth covered card table,
like soldiers ready to do battle with
cubed melon and
orange tomatoes bursting
with the sweet smell of summer earth.
Lettuce ripped carefully so as not to bruise its tender fibers,
filled with warm pulled chicken.
Twelve women surround the pot,
rennet, cow’s milk, thermometer laid out like a surgeon’s tools
Grapes distilled, pressed, bottled,
nourishing their passion.
A quart-size vintage blue Mason Jar
to the woman on my right
heavy cream trapped
She wears a sly knowing smile, a watermelon themed apron and auburn curls that kiss the nape of her swan-like neck.
Shake, shake, shake.
Wrapped around the warmed glass
a blanket of security.
of in between.
Soft billowy heaven
ready to slather on fluffy buttermilk biscuits,
slip down nuggets of corn
on the cob,
scooped into a pastry bag.
Thick teardrops that look like Hershey’s Kisses.
I spin on a merry go round.
Cannonball into cool lake water.
The timer chirps
As the yeasty aroma breaks into applause.
The contents of the jar
Solid like the cherry wood cabinets
In my kitchen sanctuary.