St Nick’s 19 December

The Feast of St Nicholas

Cooking with Mama, and Baba

Pinny on, tails trail to the floor

Bowls filled with sumptious ingredients

I dip my finger, then lick, close my eyes,

Delighting in the heaven of vanilla with walnuts,

Juicy, bulbous pearls of barley; smells divine.

Slava bread, large, round

Kissed and blessed by the holy man

Drenched with wine, burned with candle wax

Remembering Serbian clans and tribes

Wanderers from Mongolia, Russia, Armenia;

We are Rom, blue-eyed Gypsy, roses in our hair, our hats.

In our eyes, souls of a travelling past,

Making bread at camps, killing boar for the feast,

Dancing with a spirited moon, laughing at our shadows

Mama and Baba, hands and hearts of the plains

Ceremony of St Nick with love for decades.