Father Vinegar, Mother Oil

Thursday, February 14, 2019
2019 Scholastic Writing Award, Gold Key Winner
 
Father Vinegar, Mother Oil
 
I stared at vinegar drowned in oil
And watched as salt water added to the
Heterogenous of it all.
 
It was the time of year that pine needles are
The a la mode fragrance and
Frost sparkles atop the roofs of smoking chimney houses.
 
Staccato sink water sprinkled pots and pans
As she said “On holidays, we will dissolve into one another
Like sugar and water french kissing in a skillet.”
 
Mother Oil sang baby songs like the bubbles
Fairies blow through gaping mouthed saliva.
She has mother nose and mother cheeks.
 
Some walk in old mining grounds deep in the earth without knowing it.
These unknowers dig dirt into the pores of their skin
And take comfort in the fiery warmth and the dirtily sung songs.
 
They are the happiest dark nights.
They are the technicolor crowding teary eyes on the hunt for
Some recognizables.
 
They own the beds most swaddled in.
Most loved in. Most birthed in.
They produce mother knuckles and mother feet.
 
It was the time of the year that wassle stains the taste budding flowers under snow.
Nat King Cole settles into the radio of every car on the black ice road.
Paper ripping is the sport of the season and red nosed children are the crowned.
 
Sugar Plum Fairies left tip toe and dancing to our conversation
And Father Vinegar spilled over
Thousand piece puzzles in the fireplace room.
 
Father vinegar drizzled himself over bread and let me feed on him.
He came from the white curled hair of the givers.
He came from show tunes and voices like honey.
 
He grew a garden sometimes in the backyard.
In memories it arched it’s back and stretched for miles.
It anted me and I could walk for years in a four foot square patch of wildflowers.
 
I am so happy Father Vinegar, Mother Oil.
I am full of the colors green and red.
I am asleep in hundreds of covers that keep me warm.
 
You have dissected me and hidden drops of
Elvis Presley and pomegranate juice in the
Chambers of my heart.
 
We have sat in blueberry fields with garden snakes in our hands
Watching fireflies magic the surrounding air.
We have let rain water seep into our sleeping bags in far away states.
 
It was the time of the year that fall gave way to winter and I had heard that
When they were this cold the whole of the earth’s oceans are frozen to the core.
It was so cold that tears couldn’t help but turn to snow flakes before they left our eyes.