When Ma gets out the yellow bowl
And her sturdy wooden spoon,
And sets out butter and some eggs,
And the can of cinnamon,
I watch as she finds raisins and
A bottle of molasses,
And then she gets her rolling pin,
And she never even asks us,
‘Cause she knows we all love cookies
And the cookie crock needs fillin’ –
I help her cream sugar, eggs, and butter,
And don’t do any spillin’.
From the Hoosier cupboard comes
The Watkin’s bottle of the flavorin’,
My mouth begins a- watering,
In wild anticipation.
Then Ma takes out her receipt book,
The one she writes inside
With only just the best receipts,
The ones she serves with pride.
I know she knows it all by heart,
But she says it wouldn’t do
To forget a single thing,
And this I know is true.
I watch as flour, soda salt,
Go in the yellow bowl
And when the bits of dough have baked,
I know she’s reached her goal.
While the spicy cookies cool
On Ma’s old wooden table,
I help her clean the kitchen up,
As well as I am able.
From the icebox, Ma brings out milk
And pours us each a glass,
And asks do I want to taste the little cakes?
I thought she’d never ask!
–Sandra Lee Smith