National Poetry Writing Month Poem #12 – Making Rhubarb Crumble

I’ve skipped #10 and #11 for now because I really liked the prompts for both of them but wasn’t getting to where I wanted with either poem. Hopefully I can come back to them with a fresh head in a few days. Sometimes it’s best to let things brew!

The challenge for Day 12 is to write a descriptive passage of prose and put it into poetry form. I think this is one I will come back to and re-work as I like the essence of the poem but feel it has not yet found its final shape. Feedback is always appreciated.

Making Rhubarb Crumble

The moment my sharp knife
cuts through the first rhubarb of the season
I am transported.

There may be a word
for that smell but for me it is
school holidays.

The green flesh inside
holds the freshness of a well-tended garden
in summer,

the vibrant skin has hues
of sweet William and deep red wallflowers,
pink ladies slipper.

As I continue chopping
I relish the smell of the smell of aimless wandering,
honeysuckle and meadowsweet.

I peel an apple
to add a little bulk and I see blossom of fruit trees
and hedgerow.

The mixer blends the crumble.
I hear bees buzzing in the potentilla bush
by the window.

Greasing the Pyrex dish
I think about stealing down the garden steps
to pick young peas

and as the mixture coats
my mother’s wedding and engagement rings
I hear her voice.

But this is another kitchen,
another garden, and it is my finger that wears
my mother’s rings.

As the smell of rhubarb crumble
fills the house a child runs in from her play
and says ‘Oh yum…’

I wonder what she will remember
when it is her knife cutting through
the first rhubarb of summer.

©Siobhán McNamara

This entry was posted in Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to National Poetry Writing Month Poem #12 – Making Rhubarb Crumble

  1. I love how you manage to connect so much here: seasons, nature, food, colours, texture, memories, and then as surprise, also three generations! It is as if you remind us that even in seemingly small details, we are part of a full circle.


  2. Maz says:

    Lovely… so much in it…
    See my words at:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.