her larder’s lowered temperature
had a feel of spring throughout the year.
A sliced ham hock’s moon face
among cheeses wrapped in paper,
onions pulled only that day
from their patch behind the house –
and the smells of the place like a kind
of promise. To be sent in there to fetch
and carry was to step back through years
of graft and preservation – those seasons
of bottling, pickling, salting.
It will have gone now, taken out
by those who’d improve the place
sold on probate not so long ago.
No room for a larder in the modern house –
although you might find traces of it again
in a fruit and veg shop’s ranked fennel bulbs,
the slick shuck of leek leaves, the tang
of vinegar from a newly reopened jar.
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips