The Cassells home-place cellar,
A real cellar—earthen-floored,
Grandma Annie Casssells
and ten-year-old me,
heave worn wooden doors,
throw daylight underground,
pick our way down brick slab steps,
stand still, let our eyes adjust.
Bound for thick, unpainted plank shelves
Jammed against the far wall.
For a dusty jug
amongst canned pickles, peaches, beans.
a half-pint jelly jar one-quarter full,
announces, “grape juice.”
A long dark liquid sip
the almost-empty jar
“Just a little now.
It makes you feel all warm inside.”
her eager knobby fingers for the rest
as the jar leaves my lips.
Hugging peaches and pickles,
like nothing else ever happened down there.
Annis Cassells is a teacher, poet, and writer who added “life coach” and “speaker” to her resume after retiring from teaching middle school. She is a long-time member of Writers of Kern whose poems have been published in several online ‘zines and print anthologies. “First Taste” was published in Scarlet Leaf Review, March 2016.