Mash by Jacob Armstrong

The pan gleams in starch-steam,
the water is drained, and there lie tuber-pearls: soft and hot.
I invoke an heirloom, grab the wooden masher,
and mash: in my hand the grain curves
to the heat-splits of the handle.

The white, fluffy mess of butter, milk and potato
imbues, replenishes the wood,
the piece which generations mashed with.

Now those days, the copper pots, scrubbed steps
and mouths to feed, are gone.
But maternal hands, who wore this wood
and fed, and nursed, live and feed still.