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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Blessings of Ravioli
The ravioli lay on floured
pillow cases on your dining room table
looking like stuffed pillows
themselves —
the dough kneaded smooth,
then rolled to the right thickness,
the spinach and ricotta filling
dropped like clusters of
snow-crusted grass
onto the naked strips of pasta,
plumped into fullness
with a quick fold of the dough,
the corners tucked in place with the
pinch of a fork.

Your hands move in a holy rhythm.
You anoint the ravioli with
flour to prevent them from drying out.
White halos the arch of your cheekbone as
you laugh and sprinkle, saying,
“Bless these ravioli,” like some Italian nun.

I laugh, too,
reminded of my Catholic grade school days.
I wish we had known each other then.
We could have draped our little girl bodies
in my grandmother’s
gaudy red and yellow aprons
and watched her wrinkled fingers press each ravioli
into perfect form.
“The secret’s in the touch,” she told me.
Life is full of such holy mysteries.

How could I have known
the blessings of ravioli
passed from Grandma’s hands
to mine, and now to yours.
I touch your floured fingertips
and smile.
There is grace here
and beauty beyond words.

©1993, Mary Saracino
Originally published in Writers Who Cook, Herringbone Press (Minneapolis: 1993).

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