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Making Applesauce - A Granddaughter's Tribute

Bowl of applesauce and cinnamon.

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I have worn your hands all day.
Other parts of my body
are yours too — the freckles
scattering up my arms, the red
the sun shows in my hair —
but it is your hands
that do this work I like today.

They choose the firmest apples
from the bagful I gathered;
the fingers approve these hard
curves, peel and chop, trusting
the knife’s edge, arranging
creamy chunks of fruit
and coils of red skin.

I bend my head over the pot,
letting the sweet steam swirl
into my eyes. The tears come,
and while I stand here crying
for you in my kitchen, your hands
go on stirring, go on
dignifying such simple acts.

— Kathy Mangan, Professor of Creative Writing and Literature, McDaniel College (As Published In Above the Tree Line, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1995).

Download a PDF of the poem here.

Last revised: November 23, 2011

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