"Ode to a Mustard Jar"
A tiny mustard jar sits on the shelf
used and washed and used again,
there so I can remind myself
of the bounty we’ve consumed since then.
We fill it daily with rubber bands,
twist ties, and clasps for bread,
no longer a vessel for Grey Poupon.
Sometimes I hold it in my hands,
admire the colors that took the stead
of the yellow and brown of country Dijon.
Every treasure enclosed in that little glass
retains a scent from a bygone meal,
a history behind each token amassed,
and I love still having those scents to steal.
A rubber band aroma of a bunch of mint
calls to mind my first homemade tea,
the leaves that out of that rubber band slid
simply brewed in water and just a hint
of sugar overnight became a sweet melody
I hear each time I unscrew the lid.
Tucked in the shelf beside boxes and cans
is this tiny jar holding things that once held
the ingredients we threw into pots and pans
and sautéed into bouquets that we smelled
in our sleep, tastes that came to us in a dream.
Thought transforms into recipe
and each recipe becomes part of who we are,
and those kitchen experiments seem
to always begin with ingredients set free,
their bonds being stowed in our mustard jar.