At the dark edge of dusk,
the answering machine blinks.
Mom has called to thank me
for the card and the article on jam-making.
She tells the machine:
I remember my grandmother making pickles.
Those little crisp cucumbers.
She and Aunt Julie and my mother
would gather in the yellow kitchen.
I would watch them
stuff dill into the jars.
Grandma would throw in a pepper, or two,
for a little spice.
I rewind the tape, erase the message.
Prepare for the next incoming call.
Remember to write this down.
Keep the line clear for anything else
my mother is doling,
needs me to preserve.
Kristin Berger lives in Portland, OR with her husband and daughter. She writes poetry, essays and fiction. Her work has appeared/or is forthcoming in Hip Mama, The American Poetry Journal, The Comstock Review, Verseweavers and online at The Pedestal Magazine. She recently received the New Poets Prize from the Oregon State Poetry Association.