Dreaming of Recipes

We were at a small gift shop and the woman there
had just pulled soda bread from the oven.
I tried, in every way I know,
to encourage her to give me the recipe.

It’s a mission of mine to find a recipe
that matches the soda bread my mother made,
and this one did, which was why I was so desperate.

She smiled and asked me where my mother grew up
and when I said Dublin but could not say more
I became embarrassed.

The thing is, I don’t really know more.
My knowledge of her life and her experiences
is limited to what I can piece together
from the back of post cards she sent her parents
or photographs she wrote on.
She died before I could ask her to clarify.

So what I’m left with
is a meeting that actually happened in a dream
where my search for my mother
ended up leaving me empty handed-
the memory of bread fading in the same way
my memory of her has so many years later.

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