Backing down the drive we see snow and sleet on the cold stones and grass,
evidence of winter’s long-clutching grasp on Ohio.
We head to church, the grocery, back to church school,
and finally home where we hang coats, store mittens, and wash hands.
We dice red onion and cooked chicken,
slice black olives and grape tomatoes.
We layer the crust with olive oil, basil, mozzarella,
and all of our dicing and slicing while the oven heats.
The tomato bisque is ladled into glass bowls,
and the leafy salad arranged on ceramic plates.
There is talk of croutons and pizza,
strawberries and yogurt, and even melted chocolate.
Our little ones have already eaten a bakery cookie and a fruit-laden cereal bar,
but they come to the table anyway and tell us how they would design their menus and present their dishes.
The littlest one asks to read “The Little Red Caboose” before nap time,
and as I near the end, he presses his cheek to mine, his strawberry breath forcing my mind toward spring.