County Route 20

I’ve wanted to write my version of Spoon River Anthology about County Route 20 (for the sake of anonymity I should probably call it Route 21) for a long long time. I have some pieces. Small poems. Maybe this summer I’ll write some more. Like today.

Bertha  first and only

neighbor who came to visit

when we moved in 31 years ago  carried

a peanut butter pie with a recipe

in case I wanted

to make my own Bertha wore

a church hat when she knocked on

the door with her pie

wrapped in aluminum foil recipe

taped right in the center.

Said she’d been a nurse. Don’t ask me

nursing questions I don’t remember answers.

Do you have any questions for me? Yes she said.

Are you people Catholics?

One of us is Jewish .

Jewish she replied,

and  shook my hand  goodbye.

The pie was too sweet but I saved

her recipe. Bertha’s penmanship

was admirable.


Esther Cohen
Let me tell you why I'm here, and why I hope you'll join me. I am here to poem, to play with words, to tell stories when I can, and to ask you for yours. Words are what I love, how I see, and what I say. Words are how I know my life, and how I find my friends. I'm here to ask you to join me. Right here. To send me your stories, and your poems. And to read mine when you can.


  1. An updated Spoon River : neat…
    Re the friendly nurse: my mother told of a neighbor who came over to say hello when the first Jewish family – us – moved into the house on Maple Ave…..” I didn’t know you people used clothes pins ” she said.

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