Honey

I forgot
that honey
makes me think of you.

Your mother horded
all her harvested honey
in jars
on the highest cuboard,
though she had sworn a life
of sugar, dairy, meat, and wheat
celibacy.
Honey was all she had left.
Honey for another day.
But you’d take down a jar,
when you’d make me tea;
make up a quart
of sweetness,
saying she wouldn’t mind,
even on the day
she discovered her missing jar.

It’s not like sugar,
this gold your mother craved.
Crisp and somehow unlike
all the artificial tastes
of graham crackers and cereals;
all the lovely things
children want.
I’ll lick the crystals
without guilt,
understanding why only honey
was permitted by
her conscience.

And maybe understand
a little
of how you got away
stealing spoonfuls of my sweetness
when I had sworn to save it
for another day,
on the highest shelf,
in tight, glass jars,
waiting to be
tasted.

Now locked away
like you.

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