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Filial Food

by F.I. Goldhaber

Pound after pound melted away, ounces at a time. 
Desperate, unable to get him to eat, Mother 
bought a train ticket for my culinary talents.
With butter and sugar, cheese and noodles, matzoth and  
eggs, I resurrected rich memories. Two kinds of 
kugel, chicken fried in butter, latkes, matzoth brei, 
biscuits, lasagna. For a week I cooked nonstop, the 
sloshing of the dishwasher my constant companion. 
Each night I crawled into bed exhausted. But, he ate. 
For the first time in a long time he enjoyed eating.
Ounce by ounce I added four whole pounds to his frail frame. 
I left a freezer full of goodies and took delight 
in Mother's daily progress reports. But not even 
bubbe's recipes, prepared with his daughter's love, could 
save him from cancer. Betrayed by his heart, snatched away 
from the very many who adored him. So, we mourn.
We share the food that gave him pleasure in his last week 
of a life lived long and well. His children, grandchildren, 
widow toast his memory with the food of his youth.

As a reporter, editor, business writer, and marketing communications consultant, F.I. Goldhaber produced news stories, feature articles, essays, editorial columns, and reviews for newspapers, corporations, governments, and non-profits. Now, her poems, stories, essays, and reviews appear in paper, electronic, and audio magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. F.I. also shares her words at events in Portland, Seattle, Salem, Keizer and on the radio. She has appeared at venues such as Wordstock, Oregon Literary Review, galleries, coffee shops, bars, bookstores, libraries, and community colleges. Visit her website.