Four months of news stories and 4,300 worldwide deaths.
Social media memes and accusations.
Schools filled with unimpacted children who put their hands everywhere.
Understaffed schools that can’t keep up with soap consumption.
Homeless and hungry children who find their only two meals a day here.
Immigrant children who come anyway because this is nothing like escaping extreme poverty and war.
Preheat hope to 375 degrees. Maybe it will be hot enough to kill something.
Put every worry and frustration into the rolling out of dough. Tough and round, an imperfect circle, wide enough to cover the whole belly of the beloved dish.
Spin and skin the apples until they are nothing but spirals of juicy love, bittersweet and crunchy and soon-to-be-soft, soon-to-be-coalesced inside a cinnamony mix of something sweeter. More hopeful.
Slice slivers into the top crust. Each piece is a taste of our world, cutting out the healthcare most of us don’t have, carving lines into the economic burden, trying to cover up the death toll.
Place the pre-cooked apple concoction into the lower crust belly, its syrup soaking through the floury dough, waiting to be better.
One by one, lay the lattice. Say a prayer, ask for something better, hope to God this will come together perfectly in the end. One by one, lay the lattice. Take your time. Gather your patience. Think of your children. All of your children.
Press the two parts of the world together: the bottom crust which opens its arms to everything that will fit; the top lattice which opens its door for all the cursed steam to escape, to prevent overflowing, to make a perfect pie.
Bake your pie. Bake, bake, bake your pie. Know that, after the timer beeps, after you have scrubbed flour powder into the compost, after you have soaped the dishes, after your pie has rested on its stinging-hot shelf, everything will taste oh. So. Sweet.
Teach your students how to say “crust” before they bite in tomorrow, before you won’t see them for three weeks, before the actual Pi Day.
And hope for many more Pi Days with oh-so-many pies as perfect as this one.