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Sep 2014
A picture of us
sits next to your bathroom sink.
I saw it as I rummaged
through cabinets
looking for toothpaste:

I was sunburned, wearing braces,
and you held a wooden spoon
with the same smile,
crooked nose,
and bushy eyebrows
in the kitchen.

You would come home early,
I would chop
onion and garlic,
garlic and onion,
to Metallica blaring
on your stereo.

We can stir the ***
until our hands blister,
but something added
cannot be removed.

There was the summer
we built model rockets,
the summer you took me to meet
our family in Greece,
and all those summers
we ate Krispy Kreme and fished.

I didn’t become an astronaut,
I didn’t learn Greek,
I threw up over the side of the boat,
but because you came home early
so many days in a row – just for me –
that was my favorite summer.

Today, over the
chop-chop-sizzle
in a broken-in kitchen
we fill a stained cookbook
with dog-ears,
small adjustments.

The same ingredients
never taste the same way twice.

We reclaim a day
out of years lost.
Then that photo
by your sink.
It was a small
Father’s Day gift,
survivor of four moves
and twelve years
of self-discovery,
still reminding you – and me –
of summers spent
breaking in kitchens
and recipes
we’ve been making for years.
Marie Word
Written by
Marie Word
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