MY GRANDMOTHER’S KITCHEN
Christmases, my grandmother set
A crystal tray of cookies out.
She’d claim they were homemade; but bet
Against such folksy verity,
For emptied cartons lay about
The kitchen where we all could see.
Could see, that is, had we just cracked
The heavy portal to that room
Which guarded stove and icebox, lacked
Nothing her husband could afford,
But seemed a cell of heat and gloom
Where chicken thawed on the cutting board.
It was her inmost privacy
Around which all that great house turned,
And from which good things came to be,
By what brow-glistening toil, what pride,
What fussy cunning, none dared learn
But, with our hunger, stayed outside.
This poem appears in the April 30, 2018, print issue of NR.