*The following poem was originally featured at a fundraiser for table//FEAST magazine, held at SweetCup Gelato in Houston, TX. Today would have been my grandfather's 88th birthday. He died just days after his 82nd birthday on June 1, 2017. Abuelito, this poem is for you. I miss you every day. -DPC*
My grandfather never used an ice cream scoop
because he thought a big spoon would work best.
But the problem is when a spoon
hits thick, cold ice cream,
From what I recall, he didn’t have a favorite flavor
and whenever we’d get together,
he’d always ask me if I wanted ice cream.
Sometimes I did and sometimes I didn’t.
But no matter my response, he would
serve himself a bowl and the bent
spoon would stick out of the container,
its contents melting by the minute.
My grandmother once scolded him
for eating all the chocolate ice cream
without sharing any with her
and because he was getting older
so he needed to watch his diet
to make sure he’d live to be a hundred.
You get stains on your shirts, she said.
My God, who told you
to eat ice cream every day?
After he died, I didn’t eat ice cream
for a long time because it reminded me
too much of him but eventually
I craved it and gave in.
I don’t remember the flavor,
the brand or the taste.
But what I do remember is that when
I served myself a bowl,
the spoon bent.
My grandfather, Hector. May 26, 1935-June 1, 2017.