When I was small,
and still believed in tunnels
made of branches and raked leaves,
I knew the recipe for mud pies.
Dirt in one hand,
I'd pour a can of water
in exact amounts;
I'd pack the dampened soil,
awake with worms and tiny bugs,
and bake it in the sun.
At last, I'd give it to my great-grandmother
and watch her gobble it up.
She made the noise
becoming of a lady
when devouring such a delicacy.
She tipped the bowl, like this,
and smacked her lips
then she or I would slyly
toss the soil away
and I would make another and another
and another, each one better than the last;
each one a first-time marvel
that could only come from me.
Jessica Covil-Manset is an English PhD Candidate at Duke, where she is writing a dissertation on poetry and poiesis as political praxis. Her poems have been published in SWWIM Every Day, Whale Road Review, Rise Up Review, One Hand Clapping and elsewhere, and she was nominated for the 2020 Best of the Net.