You touch us all with your wonderful poetry. Someone sent me an attachment some years ago about the part of Dublin I used to live. It was an art magazine in pdf. The woman said there was a photo with children playing and I might knew some of them. When I got to that page I nearly fell off my seat. I emailed my sister in Dublin and said look at this picture? She nearly fell off her seat and the phone rang and she said "That's The Ma." I then sent it to another sister in London, phones ringing, emailing and so on. It effected us greatly just like In Media's posting about his Uncle. I wrote a poem to the forum Fumbally Lane. That picture of the Ma was in the Irish Times. She never said she was in the Irish Times, then again she never read the Irish Times so how could she know. I contacted the Arts council and they sent us all the actual art magazine, just like In Media Res contacted the principle of his uncle's school
"Mother made pies from scratch often...The left over crusts with cinnamon were to die for."
On a total lark, inspired by your poem, and comment, I googled my grandmother's name. (I had goggled it before, but nothing ever came up.)
She did the same thing for my brother and sister and me while we were growing up. We would often stay at her house prior to a holiday...specially Thanksgiving and Christmas. She would bake pies for the family gathering on the holiday. Mincemeat and apple were her favorites...and ours. And her cookie box was always filled with homemade sugar and cinnamon cookies for us and any other kids who lived in her neighborhood. The kids in her neighborhood always knew where to go for a year round treat!
Her former neighborhood, once filled with so much happiness and joy and memories and close friends is now, sadly, a dangerous slum.
Your poem brought back swells, gushes and tidal waves of smells and place and times and events. When I googled her name, up popped an article about a photo album kept for three years in the early part of the 20th Century that was found in a dumpster in California. It belonged to my uncle from when my father's family went on vacations and was about the times they lived in the town while he was in high school. (By the way, we NEVER went on vacations. My father's work schedule never allowed it.)
The woman who found it in the garbage in California held onto it for many years and only last year mailed it to my uncle's high school, as she found it" a treasure that should not be lost to history." The local newspaper in that town had a long article about it.
I just e-mailed the school's principal to tell them to get in touch with me, as the article stated if anyone had any information about my uncle to contact them.
I am literally crying. Just telling my wife about it I was sobbing. I woke her up. I know it has photos of my father and uncles and grandparents. I don't know if I will get to sleep tonight thinking about it.
Talk about poems affecting people's live: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
Best, apple and mincemeat and rhubarb pies. Straight from her backyard...well not the mincemeat. Officially, being Roman Catholic, we all will go to hell for having eaten the mincemeat on Fridays after Thanksgiving!
All other pale in comparison.
And the leftover crusts!!! Goes without saying...if you were good and helped her bake them!