few taste buds can distinguish food city’s stock from weigels’,
or guess the time each cup has been living on aisle three.
only a handful alive can tell the season’s changing by the distribution of chocolate on thumb and index finger.
but my momma can.
it’s a mad science and a sweet, sticky art: this reese’s tasting game.
and she taught me everything i know.
after soccer, between errands, shuffling sisters to and fro,
between beeps of the grocer’s gun, we would share a side-eyed smile.
as the package slipped stealthily on the belt, she’d say with a wink,
“no need to bag that. we’ll take it from here.”
never a treat, but a duty,
our taste-testing endeavors spanned years of growing up,
a serious commitment to time together and the art of a long-term laugh.
from k-mart to kroger, no cup was safe.
all must be tasted, tested, treasured.
to date, our findings remain hidden,
locked away where only inside jokes may enter,
in a shack on the kiwanis’ adopted highway.
the job is never done, this we know in our deep sugared bones.
just yesterday, rumors reached me of a strange occurence,
a kentucky man found jelly in his cup,
a blasphemous invasion of all things p.b.c.
should this claim need further investigation,
i have a team to recommend.
in fact, i think we’d better start training our taste buds again, right away,
just in case.
happy mother’s day to my mentor, the master maker of reasons-to-buy-chocolate, and my favorite partner in all things laugh-until-you-cry.
i love you, mom.