Katelyn Vause is photographed reading her poem inspired by Susan Gant’s painting at the December 3, 2016 Art of Poetry event. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.
after “Blue Jar with Lemon” by Susan Gant
Mama always said,
“When life gives you lemons,
you gotta make lemonade.”
I’d come home from school,
the wrongs of my classmates
mingling on my lips with tears.
I remember watching her
carefully slice the yellow fruit in two,
squeezing, the juice sliding
down her fingers before dripping
into the waiting jar.
It must’ve gotten on cuts,
seamstress and farmer’s wife she was,
but she never let on it did.
She’d pour sugar, always eyeing,
“The surprise makes it better,”
she’d say with a wink.
Mama always saved the water for last,
let me help her stir, smile as
I carefully turned the spoon, then kiss
the top of my head
as the sour turned sweet.