by Kathryn Stein

The scent of maple syrup stirred her

Rising, she met the yellow sun.

Mother’s humming, soothing

She ladles perfect circles

On orange plates, round and full.


Slightly browned and gleaming

The rising smell, warm.

And fresh-picked daisies,

A freshness that rivals syrup

In sweetness, and calm.


Sunday morning, cool air

Gentle light—sticky fork.

Mother’s hands tender touch

To cheek reminds her of fall afternoons.

Cool skin slowly melds with cheek,

And warmth spreads through

Like butter blending with syrup

On a hot, round orange plate.