Kitchen, 2009

by Becca Fallon


Mom’s kitchen
is only in the house
but is open for business
all over the neighborhood.
A gust of wind
seasons the air with paprika.
The trees smell cajun; we’re up North
but they smell like they’ve been
in a pot all day.
Mom will peel off the shell
and toss the Tuesday in with some rice—
and maybe some crab meat if God
decides we’ll be flavored well this week,
with a green, papery rub—
and she’ll call it a meal.
We’ll line up like a parade to
grab her taste of the land and sea.
We don’t worry.
Greasy hands glisten like gold beads
and we gleam because it’s 2009 and we’ve
won so many games that Dad thinks
it might finally be our year.
We clean our hands with a lemon wedge
and put our plates in the sink.
We might pull out a board game later
or drift off into the evening.
But I know we’ll do it together
as we laugh under lamplight
and hear the cicadas cheer
while the sun wakes up
some other kitchen.


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