Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Musty Minutes

I was seven when my father
first began to teach me
how to make wine

Adjusting the must of the wine
was critical for a nice dry red
which is what he liked to make

The acidity had to be just right
and he showed me how to test
it and balance it if it was off

Then we'd monitor the sugar level
with a hydrometer and ensure
the degrees Brix were twenty-two

I had seen my mother make
a simple syrup in our kitchen
but father said this was not cooking

Wine was not just an extraction
from the must, but life itself,
just as the yeast was alive

And we warmed the must
to pitching temperature
so the yeast would thrive

We watched the must for a few
minutes, the bubbles rising,
the yeast working their magic

In those minutes, I began to learn
about what we had to do
and what we chose to do

* * *

This poem was written in response to Prompt #47 Musty Minutes at We Write Poems.


  1. Mr. Walker, I really like how you approached this prompt. Making wine with your dad, how interesting. The last stanza ties it up nicely.


  2. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Wow somehow the last stanza echoes big.

  3. Mr. Walker, I love this poem and thinking about what one wants to do and has to do. I went through a brief time of wine making too. Decided it didn't compare to store bought. LOL.

  4. A much nicer must than musty attics or must-dos. I really enjoyed it.

  5. Pamela, Irene, Mary, and Viv, thank you all for your kind comments.
    I'm glad you enjoyed it. I wanted to play with the idea of "must" and yet come back to it in the last stanza in terms of what we have to do.

  6. Mmm, wonder just what that wine tasted like. I imagine that is was wonderful because your dad taught you to be so exacting. I have never made wine but I like it and now I've learned more about it in your poem. I really enjoyed this.

  7. nicely done...thanks for sharing your words

  8. Judy, thank you for your kind words. My father and I never made wine together; that is fictional. But the lesson I spoke of in the last stanza, I did learn that from him.
    Wayne, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  9. What a fascinating take on that prompt.

    Mad Kane

  10. Mad Kane, thanks for stopping by. I was reading a novel titled Roma and learned that "must" had another meaning, so that was the inspiration for this poem.