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By Irene Mason

I fed you alphabet soup.
Each spoonful
told a snippet of my past.
Sometimes, the letters
were out of order—
but you unscrambled them.

You drank tea made
from my mom’s lemon grass.
It was bitter,
so you added sugar for taste.
Later, the sugar
was traded in for honey,
then agave nectar.

We used to bring my dad
the leftovers from our dates.
Greasy tacos and refried beans
thrilled him.
You were trying to win him over.
Eventually, it worked.

I never wanted to be a chef,
like my mom.
She offered to teach me
to make pad Thai and panang curry,
but I turned down her lessons.

Now, we work long hours,
meals are simple or take-out,
we don’t eat as healthy as we should,
TVs and iPhones distract us
from one another.

Sometimes, I wish
for the days of alphabet soup
when we didn’t know
each other as well,
and we looked forward
to unscrambling the letters.

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