on pie poetry and politics, commandeered lovingly and beautifully by Wendy Willis, author of the just-released Blood Sisters of the Republic.
Greg Glazner refers to her as a "wrangler with history, domestic confidante, disrupter of narratives, down-home story teller, linguistic fire breather," perfectly describing this writer I had not heard of until a few days ago.
I enjoy Willis' poems because they are domestic and political, not just in the "personal is political" sense, but in the "Republicans taking over the house of representatives" sense. They are also gorgeous tributes to the creatures we often overlook for the megafauna: bluebottles, jellyfish, frog's eggs, snakes, beetles, gnats, cockroaches, bees. And did I mention how she renders ordinary foodstuffs--strawberries and fruit cake and griddlecakes--into linguistic ambrosia?
But I picked up the pen (err, hastened to the keyboard) to share about her blog, in particular a recent post which caught my attention. In the entry Asymmetry & Humility, Willis relates a story many moms can relate to: a picture-perfect vacation weekend with the kids suddenly spoiled thanks to a bee. When Willis' daughter requests homemade apple pie to make it all better, Willis' first reaction is to recoil. Yet, in the end (albeit with corners cut), and after a long car ride home, Willis heads into the kitchen to produce that which serves to erase all memory of the sting. Without saying it outright, we get the message: serving food we've made with our own hands is how we take care of each other, one of the many ways we can, if we choose, not only show our love but bring happiness and restore calm to ourselves and others.
Reading this post made me want to head straight into my kitchen and concoct a version of my son's favorite pie: apple. Not that he's exactly been stung by a bee lately, but the first three weeks of middle school have been tough, tough, tough. What better way to reward him for making the transition than with a giant wedge of pie and a dollop of vanilla ice cream?
I can't wait to read her next post ...
Carrot Top Pesto
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