Coal Stove Cookie Jar

It was a balmy summer day in ’67

When the family moved in

Mother, father

And their little boy

He helped his parents

Unpack the boxes

The coal stove cookie jar

A gift from the grandfather

He had never met

A memento of those days

As a Pennsylvania miner

Placed atop the fridge

And there it would stay

Months later, a little sister

Entered the family photograph

And the boy went off to school

When his day was done

His mother

Would offer the coal stove cookie jar

Filled with Hydrox

That seemed perpetually stale

The coal stove cookie jar sat relentlessly

atop the fridge

Watching as the family grew

Another sister

Watching as days



Passed by

The boy embraced boyhood

Played ball, skinned knees

Watched television

Got into trouble

As he grew

There were some things he forgot

Along the way

But the coal stove cookie jar

And stale Hydrox

Were always in his mind

It was a balmy summer day in ’83

When the boy packed his things

In cardboard boxes

He took the dying car

His books, his clothes, his life

But he left the jar

Where it had always been

It was a balmy summer day

As a millennium began to wane

When the little boy

Became a father

And he brought his baby girl with him

To visit the coal stove cookie jar

There it was always atop the fridge

Seemingly unchanged

But now it was empty

And no one seemed to notice

Except the little boy

To whom it meant so much

It was a balmy summer day in ’17

And the baby girl, now a woman

Sat at the kitchen table

Looking to the top of the fridge

At the coal stove cookie jar

That brought her father

So many memories

That he shared

And she smiled

Knowing that they would both always remember

The coal stove cookie jar

And smile





The Tory Colossus


Another idea that popped into my head (sadly) after reading articles about the immigrant situation in the UK in the wake of Brexit. It is not pretty. In the Factory, we recently learned about US immigration in the late 19th century. The poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was written in 1883 as a dedication to the Statue of Liberty and is engraved on a plaque inside it. It is a poem of hope and inspiration. The situation in the UK at present seems to be the exact opposite of those sentiments found in that poem. My sincerest apologies to you, Ms. Lazarus for having dragged you into this. FT