Poem Therapy: Butter - Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander

My mother loves butter more than I do,
more than anyone. She pulls chunks off
the stick and eats it plain, explaining
cream spun around into butter! Growing up
we ate turkey cutlets sauteed in lemon
and butter, butter and cheese on green noodles,
butter melting in small pools in the hearts
of Yorkshire puddings, butter better
than gravy staining white rice yellow,
butter glazing corn in slipping squares,
butter the lava in white volcanoes
of hominy grits, butter softening
in a white bowl to be creamed with white
sugar, butter disappearing into
whipped sweet potatoes, with pineapple,
butter melted and curdy to pour
over pancakes, butter licked off the plate
with warm Alaga syrup. When I picture
the good old days I am grinning greasy
with my brother, having watched the tiger
chase his tail and turn to butter. We are
Mumbo and Jumbo’s children despite  
historical revision, despite
our parent’s efforts, glowing from the inside
out, one hundred megawatts of butter.
When my daughter was a toddler, she would eat an entire stick of butter if I let her. She loved butter on absolutely everything. Now that she's older and more health conscious, she eats butter sparingly. All of the food I am preparing for dinner tomorrow require generous portions of butter.
Butter makes everything better.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the United States day of thanks. I have so much that many times I take it for granted and forget to be grateful.
I am grateful for my daughter, my step children and grandbabies, my family and friends, my dogs, my imagination, my health, my too big home, my freedoms too numerous to count, my possessions that at times possess me, my work, my talents that I sometimes ignore until they rebel and demand attention, for second chances to remake the world according to me, for possibilities.
What are you grateful for?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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