Coffee and Cardamom Cinnamon Biscuits with Aunt Evelyn

Aunt Evelyn, cardamom cinnamon biscuits cool
on your kitchen counter while we gather
around your table. Since I’m only eight,
I add lots of milk to my coffee, feel sophisticated
using the dainty silver tongs to plunk three sugar cubes
in my delicate flowered cup. Just like the grownups,
I stir and smile, look about the table expectantly.
Conversation flows.

The Finnish radio station plays softly as we sip
your rich, scalding coffee. I break apart
the wonderfully fragrant fresh biscuit on my plate.

I can count on your Jewel Autumn Leaf
salt and pepper shakers to keep their vigil
on the stove top. Without fail, blooming
pink and purple African violets tint your windows.

Evelyn, your kitchen remained the same
for all the decades I knew you.

Ever since you’ve died, I imagine you back
in your log cabin home on that memory road
between Ontonagon and Rockland.
You’re pouring coffee for my mother
and all your sisters. Once again,
you serve cardamom cinnamon biscuits—
vanilla glaze sticking sometimes
to diaphanous wings.

—Linda Aschbrenner, Marshfield