The Knowledge


A nettle soaked could set a curd,

And burrs could wrap the butter pack.

A copper pan could spoil the taste.

For sixty years she’d made these notes.


The life within, the voice without,

The cream and structure, rind and heart,

The village and its changeless ways:

For sixty years she rose above.


The young she helped and coaxed on through

The mysteries, rituals, places, times –

Between the ageing racks and shelves –

For sixty years, traversed the gaps.


Her hands are supple, soft and strong:

They play her secrets like a song.





5 Comments to “The Knowledge”

  1. Lovely metaphors there- As satisfying as a rich, aged cheddar.

  2. Subtle, supple and yet powerful in its insistent demand for attendance! Fine writing!

  3. There’s beauty in the quiet gaze here. And I really like the unexpected juxtapositions in “The cream and structure, rind and heart,”

  4. I’m tempted to frame this and display it in my kitchen. I quite simply love it.

  5. I like this.

    Would an old woman’s hands be “supple, soft and strong” … Oh, if only it were so!!!


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