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Bent Spoons

*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,

it bends.

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.

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