Growing up, it was foreign land—
to me, yet, it was favored by all,
a magic kingdom of food and warmth,
a homework headquarters.
It had a coal stove for heat and
cooking. Mom (sometimes Dad) did laundry
there with a wringer machine filled and emptied by hose,
when new to the tribe, I was bathed in that sink,
perhaps after laundry and dishes were done.
Later in life it was (and still is) wife’s land.
Maybe it’s sexist, but barefoot in
the kitchen was her idea.
Actually, it was all her house
where we all lived. At home,
it was where the core of many lives
transpired—in the kitchen.
Meetings, parties, family dinners,
games and puzzles, some business.
It was our mother-ship’s headquarters.
When between jobs, I was given
the helm of house to navigate;
cooking, cleaning, laundry,
paying bills, and giving some homework
help. Dropping off, picking up,
taking to kid’s thingies. For a dad,
I believe I made a passable mom.
But the jury remains out.
Now those kids are gone
to their own kitchens,
it’s still the same in our lovely
(if mostly empty) nest. It’s her kitchen,
somewhere in the middle of
Texas. I don’t really
cook but would like to. I am the
dish washer, maybe replaced now
by a newer and quieter, a younger one
with fingerprint proof silver skin.
No man has ever been murdered
while doing the dishes. Perhaps I
should be worried and observant,
or apply for the position of official
dishwasher loader and unloader.
It’s not my kitchen and it never will be.
Perhaps the laundry room?
Household poet laureate is a good job,
I eat well, and the beer is cold.
Look both ways, near and far.
There will always be gaps, in love and lust,
but in the kitchen, it’s Mom we trust.