Kitchen Ghosts

Framed handwritten recipes in my kitchen on the Johnson Funny Farm

Glenda Funk, a February host at’s Open Write, inspired us to write Kitchen Ghost poems, inspired by her own reading of Crystal Wilkinson’s poetry. Today, I write this poem in memory of my oldest living aunt, Jeanie Haynes, who died on February 2, 2022 at the age if 95.. She drank Dr. Pepper and loved her family!

Kitchen Ghostangels

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

Sometimes when I open the recipe box, the ghostangels march out to the

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored

strains of How Firm a Foundation and In the Garden, and I’m taken back

He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword

to the caramel and chocolate layer cakes hidden beneath the dented

His truth is marching on

silver metal cake cover to those kitchens in South Georgia where my ancestors

Glory, glory, Hallelujah…..Glory, glory, Hallelujah…….Glory, glory, Hallelujah

cooked chickens alive that morning and baked cakes with fresh-fallen pecans and

His truth is marching on …..

rolled red and green candied fruit in flour to put into our Christmas fruitcakes and

In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born across the sea

sometimes I think of those dishes with the Cherokee Rose pattern along the edges

with a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me

that once stood in the cabinet with all that carnival glass and milk glass some of which

as He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free

now lives here with me as I wonder about its next stop and sometimes I open an ice

His truth is marching on

cream sandwich and think of the time I ran past Meema to the freezer without hugging her

Glory, glory, Hallelujah

hello first and how that didn’t end well at all and somewhere in all of this, I know

Glory, glory, Hallelujah

they are still strong spirits who come at will and find their way back to Heaven through

Glory, glory, Hallelujah

their own timewrinkled handwriting on the cards in my recipe box

His truth is marching on…..

Family recipes
Aunt Jeanie Haynes
A special thanks to Slice of Life for giving writers space and voice!

11 Replies to “Kitchen Ghosts”

  1. I loved revisiting your poem today, Kim, and I’m honored to have the prompt featured here. Did you see that Crystal Wilkinson just received an NAACP Image Award for her poetry collection “Perfect Black”?


  2. Kim, your poem format is something I never thought of. Do you have a name for it? Great line that is a matter of fact true: they are still strong spirits who come at will and find their way back to Heaven. My love angels. Nonnie and Mom. are my baking warriors so when I am stuck I think what would they do-a pinch here and a pinch there.


    1. Thank you! Glenda Funk featured the prompt on a few days ago, and though I guess it is really free style poetry in terms of form, she called the prompt Kitchen Ghosts. There were so many amazing poems that day!


  3. Dar Kim – I absolutely love this, will never tire of rereading it, may emulate it someday with the very right song and memory…it’s just so MIGHTY. And the photo of Aunt Jeanie and the Dr. Pepper – PRICELESS. I am going to reshare my comment here from Ethical ELA ❤

    -You take my breath away. First the interweaving of the Battle Hymn with your memories of Aunt Jeanie, so recently lost. She could have been one of my own Southern aunts…I feel I know her well and in fact, Dr. Pepper is my lifelong favorite soft drink, having been introduced to me when I was a child by one of my aunts (although I prefer diet DP now; it has a better bite). I recall your previous post on recipes and how the women who created them and used them come back to surround you as you examine their old handwriting; those cards being tattered remnants, intricate pieces, of their daily living. They are passports to another time now. My heart sings glory, glory hallelujah as I read this – for the richness of your memory, so alive here, for the old-time cakes, the carnival glass, the ill-fated ice cream sandwich, and for the love that marches on beyond constraints of time. I am absolutely awed. And empowered for the living of this day-


  4. Wow, Dr. Kim, what a gorgeous poem, cooking with your kitchenangels. I love the photos of your aunt and the recipes with their handwriting. Lovely memories. The details of the chickens, pecans, fruit for fruitcake, the ice cream sandwich snub and more just made the whole poem come alive. Beautifully done.


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