my teenage niece
asks me to make Nana’s wings,
a recipe of her grandmother,
who was long gone before Anna was born.
Anna, whose name means full of grace,
carries my mother’s first name
which is my name too
as her middle name
one small thing that connects the two of them.
my mother fried the wings crispy
but I bake them instead
a slight generational shift
a yearning for more life for my mother
whose heart gave out.
I simmer soy sauce and beef bouillon
golden honey, thick molasses and crystalized brown sugar
I crush garlic and black pepper,
and their scents linger on my fingers long after.
best to cook them a day early
as the longer they sit in the sauce
the better the flavor
that seeps into the bones.
I wonder if Anna
feels my mother hovering, fluttering nearby
weathered apron and wooden spoon in hand
as wisps of flyaway hair halo her face.
I think she does,
and that’s why she loves the wings so.
I am the medium between them
the present translator,
an envoy from the past to evermore.