I find my mother’s old Dutch oven.
Heavy, black, spherical—
I imagine it looked like this
when father gave it to her 40 years ago.
Now as I study that black hole in my kitchen,
I feel conditions must be right
to slip through this density of memories
to their time, or at the very least,
by some chance tilting,
to snatch compressed messages
from that dark space before my birth.

Christine Wiebe – January 1989

This is one of the poems by my sister which was included in the recently-published book about my mom, Katie Funk Wiebe.  The editors gracefully inserted a number of her poems into the chapter which I wrote, What would mother do?   The book is The Voice of a Writer: Honoring the Life of Katie Funk Wiebe, recently published by the Mennonite Brethren Historical Commission, edited by Doug Heidebrecht and Valerie G. Rempel.

2 thoughts on “Exploring

  1. I love this poem – in older times – DO (Dutch ovens) were so important to people – that they were given as inheritance in wills etc…. they were the main form of food preparation – it was a stove, oven, warmer, griddle etc…
    Even Martha Washington bequeathed her DOs in her will….
    I LOVE my DOs – they make food taste remarkable!!! Cast iron, three legs, flat rimmed lid and HEAVY – coals go on the bottom and top – the best!!!

    • For a wedding gift I asked for and received a 9-quart beautiful blue Le Creuset enameled cast iron pot with a lid. It’s not a Dutch oven but mighty fine. Many pots of borscht or vegetarian chili have been conveyed to potlucks and dinners across the US and Canada in this sturdy pot. And I always say that everything tastes better when served from and/or onto something blue!

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