Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Poetry Stretch - The Kitchen

I had planned to write to form again this week, but I found myself thinking quite a lot of my mother this weekend, and nearly every memory was of her in the kitchen.

As a child I hated chores in the kitchen, particularly drying the dishes, but these are some of the times with my mom I remember most fondly. She always washed. I dried and put dishes away. I can still see her the ceramic elephant on the windowsill, trunk raised and holding her rings while she plunged her hands into very hot soapy water to scrub the pots and pans. That elephant sits on my kitchen windowsill now.

Perhaps my fondest memory of my mom standing with her back against the oven, waiting for it to warm her in the cold of winter. I wasn't tall enough to reap such benefits, but can remember putting my hand on her back and feeling just how toasty she'd gotten.

So, your challenge for this week is to write a poem set in the kitchen. I hope you will join me. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Mom Cooks

    China measuring spoons shaped
    like owls watch my mother cook.
    She uses recipes, but only because
    she experiments like a mad scientist.
    “Do you like this one?” she asks
    and even though in everything else
    she reigns supreme and only wants
    my opinion to argue with it,
    when the salad comes out
    like a small garden and the fish
    dressed in white sauce like a girl
    at her prom, shoulders sprinkled
    with fresh dill like green glitter
    and what about a dark, spicy mix
    of red cabbage with bacon and mustard,
    made with a magic incantation no doubt
    and is this one better with chicken or beef,
    she truly wants to know. So I,
    willing beneficiary, acolyte of taste,
    not knowledge, answer her
    in between bites of beauty.

    —Kate Coombs, 2014,
    all rights reserved

    Shuffling on mint green linoleum,
    Bone weary from hours of educating
    Children not her own, Mom slices beef
    Steak tomatoes as I pull apart a globe of
    Lettuce. Voices of 1960’s troubadours
    Swell from our radio, Mom starts singing,
    Slightly out of tune, as upturn creases emerge
    On her face. After placing meatloaf into the oven
    I reach up on my toes to kiss her cheek which is
    As chilled as a late fall windowsill. “What was
    That for?” she asked. “No reason.” I reply.

    (c) Charles Waters 2014 all rights reserved.


    Poison Ivy.
    Poison Oak.
    Lots of weeds and
    Lots of Smoke.
    Noxious mushroom
    Obnoxious skink
    Fix it!
    Mix it!
    Drink! Drink! Drink!