The Recipe
Jimmy Long

Notes on her morning  
list became carrots  
with limp stems and pungent   

broccoli bunches I lifted  
from grocery bags  
in the kitchen. Light shone   

on cans of chicken stock,  
seemed to melt the fresh  
Havarti and made   

a half and half bottle glisten 
with droplets of condensation. 
It was clear   

while I grieved 
yesterday's violence in today's 
newspaper pages, she  

had focused on survival, 
what it meant at this moment, 
how to make it go down,  

and determined the recipe  
was broccoli cheese soup: 
the feast we would put 
in our mouths. 

Shaking Down the Acorns
Jimmy Long

When everything finally ends, 
I find time on Saturdays  
to watch rain plunking  
the lacquered deck boards. 
It falls like wild banjo notes  
blown in November wind  
from songs my mother played. 
I breathe the grey mist   
and burnt, orange leaves,  
notice the wilted impatiens  
in forgotten terra cotta  
pots and wonder, 
where have I been? 

Author’s Commentary:

About “The Recipe” 

This is a poem in honor of my wife. Although practical gestures do not immediately register as "romantic," they often are amazing expressions of love. 

About “Shaking Down the Acorns” 

I first wrote this poem at a time when I was yearning for the traditional mountain music sounds of my youth. Shaking Down the Acorns is a great old fiddle tune. 

Jimmy Long Pic.JPG

A native of Buckhannon, West Virginia, Jimmy Long earned an English degree from Marietta College in 1993. In recent years he has resumed an active writing life in Charleston where he works and lives with his family of five. Long’s work has been featured in Appalachian Heritage and in 2016 he won first prize in poetry for his submission to Mountain Ink Literary Journal