For all our lovely people who have fed us and loved on us when times have been tough

Ikea cinnamon rolls, sticky and sweet, hard at the edges, aflame with cinnamon in the middle.

Poblano enchiladas, dotted with meaty cremini mushrooms,

flaky croissants from the local bakery, chocolate chunks snuck behind the open pantry door.

I came downstairs and brought you a half, guiltily, placed on the red chipped plate with a cup of peppermint tea, a bright orange cloth napkin at the side.

I was tempted to take one more bite.

Layers and layers of ooey, gooey lasagna noodles, parmesan and artichoke hearts dancing on our tongues.

Packets of cookies and taco fixings, labeled in plastic, glass and restaurant containers.

Food left in the milk box outside, a quick text sent after a long day’s work.

Chili with floating bits of diced onion and clumsy chunks of tomato.

We have eaten love in many forms.

Annie’s mac and cheese, still warm to the touch left on my cutting block,

Grubhub cards sent to emails with kind inscriptions, greasy hamburgers, fluffy pancakes,

spicy masala, slices of pizza and golden chicken nuggets, tangy bok choy and crispy crab rangoons.

Packaged greens and Starbucks cards, a steaming cup of coffee snuck on Sunday mornings before everyone arises.

The morning sometimes is the only slice of a day that is mine.

I put on my turning signal, sip my coffee and talk out loud as the sun rises.

We feasted in our sorrow and our new ways of living.

I could choose to be sheepish about the offerings, but I was aware that dimmed the light of the giver.

We needed something in life to be easy, nourishing and known,

and everyone needed a way to show up at our door and give in ways that were tangible.

They came in cooking instructions, sticky handwritten labels on sour cream lids, gift cards amounts, typed sentiment or a check folded in a familiarly scripted note.

All of them said the same thing as we sat down around a table forming and reforming again,

sometimes all five of us were present, sometimes it was just my love and I, or a child or two.

They all said warm and bubbly love, love sprung up from that place, love in the hard places.

Love in all the forms of fat, carbs, salt and cheese.

Love baked and boiled and layered and folded in.

Every morsel nourished us in unseen places.