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Mama's Lemon Coconut Pie

by Shelby Stephenson

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Shelby's Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl won the 2008 Bellday Poetry Prize, Allen Grossman, judge. See his work at: shelbystephenson.com


Lemme tell you about Mama’s lemon coconut pie. It was never distasteful. How could it be!  She was no sourpuss, to say the least. She’d let me gnaw on a lemon when I’d take a cold. My father loved that layer of edible white meat under the thick, brown husk of the coconut. He’d nibble while she made the pie. He did not quibble about his taste for lemon. It was pure failure for him.

cup sugar
1 stick margarine
5 small eggs or 4 (large) beaten slightly
cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 can coconut or 1 cup grated
Juice of  lemon

Mix oleo and sugar. Add other ingredients.
Cook 40 minutes 375.

The taste just puts you under a spell. You will want to walk under a full moon while holding your beloved’s hand. You can watch your bodies sway.


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