If I Was a Kitchen

If I was a kitchen, I’d want
an old-fashioned woman
at my counters, rolling dough,
canning  pickles, chutney, jam,
homemade pasta sauce, and
every Sunday a roast. She’d
wear her sweat like a saint,
ignore her aching back, one
practiced hand feeding her
Carnation baby, while other
children flocked to Formica,
hot flesh sticking to vinyl,
as they picked at fresh made
sweet buns, the pot on the
stove perpetually simmering.

Or give me modern efficiency –
ninjas and presses, air fryers,
and induction cookers – let the
children belly up to the breakfast
bar, chomp on veggies and humus,
while Mom totes baby in a sling,
and preps her bone broth, strains
of Baby Einstein emitting from
a propped up iPad, while a cellphone
vibrates on granite and the Keurig
spits out one more Starbucks Pike.

Just don’t abandon me, piles
of unopened mail, or tossed
aside receipts company for
coffee rings on my counters.
Please don’t litter my surfaces
with rotting takeout containers,
or dishes caked with process
cheese residue, leave my
stainless steel sinks stained,
spoiled food reeking in the
refrigerator, traces of late night
mishaps curdling on the floor;
the absence of familial sounds
declaring my presence invalid.

(Originally posted on June, 2016)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

25 thoughts on “If I Was a Kitchen”

  1. Wow! That is a powerful poem. Once again you use parallelism so expertly. I cannot relate personally to either opposite on this spectrum but feel my presence in my kitchen somewhere in between. Now that my kids are grown and moved out, I am experiencing my kitchen in new ways for me.

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  2. Love the juxtaposition between the different times; one not better than the other, just different. The last stanza really brings the kitchen to life for me, regardless of the time you inhabit.

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  3. This is brilliant V.J.! I’m always amazed by how many people don’t cook anymore. Feeding people has always been such a joy for me my kitchens have always been well-used. The fact that I like to eat so much helps with that too.😄

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