Read Poetry: Baking Soda, by Paris Tate

Baking Soda
By: Paris Tate
Genre: Family, Life, Mothers

Like every momma, she had her own remedies,​
like baking soda​
on a canker sore. It doesn’t sound easy,​
but it worked; besides, her own​
mother (my grandmother, died before​
I was born) tried this on her,​
“And see? I survived.” (Shrug).
I wouldn’t budge; She needed to bend before me​
at the bathroom sink, tug​
at my lip to expose the ulcer, milk white​
and irritated by a curious tongue​
running over its crater.
“Hold still.”​
It’s better to plunge into the drama,​
to twist and grind a coated finger into​
the open wound before my consent.​
The sting doesn’t make a noise;​
if it did, it would have sizzled,​
hissed like meat frying on a skillet,​
or the poppop…pop of grease landing on​
dodging fingers.
And it was over, the pain left​
to fade as I slept away anger on the jaw.
My momma​
and baking soda​
taught me the first life lesson:​
sometimes, it must get worse, then better.​
By the time I had reached my twenties​
I had heard this saying so many times,​
in so many ways,​
that it began to sound too hopeful​
for a self-styled cynic. So maybe​
that’s why it’s only true when I hear​
it in her voice on days it’s time​

to resort to her remedy.

* * * * *

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This entry was posted in 2017 Poetry, poem, poet, poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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