“This is how to measure Crisco in a cup,”
my grandma said when she was fifty-five
and I was eight years old and learning
how to make and bake a perfect apple pie.
“A cup of water to the half will rise to full
as soon as fat to half is added in.”
She never went to high school, never
heard of Archimedes or his Principle.
Still, that good idea had floated up
to her among the nameless proven wonders
come from somewhere long ago to grace
our days. These, simply, were the given ways.
Later, when so many books and other teachers
took my grandma’s place, and time took her
to be with Archimedes, I forgot almost
as much as I had ever learned. But not
her eyes, lifted toward the window light,
her measuring pyrex cup raised for a squinted
sight of how much water was displaced. Nor
the satisfaction on her sweet, gone face.