The Cook

She’s in the kitchen
cleaning, prepping
sweetness, wishes

to nurture childlike
longings – sugar laden
gifts, honeyed chops

hooks her men with
culinary preciseness –
as legend prescribes

wants a strong, reliable
type to stir her ovaries
keep her dishing up love

Disappointment, like raw egg
drips off china plates –
shame of misadventures
she cannot scrub away

only serves tea now –
the smell of liquor
mingled with cigarettes
in lecherous calloused
hands turns her stomach

avoids the coffee maker
in the same way, despises
the way the bitter brew
makes her head spin –
wits need to be in order

has settled now as hostess
caters to near strangers
whose attention, riveted
by television screens, are

lulled by the rhythmic
sounds of her sanitizing
while stew simmers in pot,
dreams of romance shelved.

(Originally titled “Hatched”, this poem first appeared here in July, 2017. I am submitting an edited version for Reena’s Xploration challenge: Stranger in a strange land. Image my own)

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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.

32 thoughts on “The Cook”

  1. There is a visceral quality here that urgently engages though time passes in the narrative. It’s as if she lives with full investment in the moment, at least at first. The ending expresses disappointment and resignation–but she’s still cooking. I guess she has to. It’s what she can do for a job and for participation in the world. Even if sad, I enjoy following her story in large part because of your craft.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The clear slide, the slow dissolution, the gritty real we’re all subject to is PERFECTLY conveyed here, VJ. This is phenomenally fine. And the artwork fruit looks as delicious as the poetry. Thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

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