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Mother's Noisy Kitchen
Gretchen Friel

they may have been
but the Queen Anne’s Lace
I brought you
made its way
to the dinner table.
you exclaimed,
your voice spinning
in time with the
seasonless motion
of our summer kitchen.
“We need a bowl for
strawberries, girls . . .”
You bounced from
task to task with
gratifying ease,
“perhaps the fluted
pink glass . . . just about
the right size.”
Though semi-delegated,
the job of securing
a berry bowl
could never quite be
trusted to an eight-year-old,
so you moved in
to sprinkle white, rounded
teaspoons full of sugar
over the mess
I might have created.
Next, a mustard dish,
some salad forks,
clinking as we hauled them,
flowered cotton shirts
cupped skyward,
our skinny fingers
“Mamma, will you and Daddy
swim with us tonight?”
we chanted like
tireless bullfrogs,
no greater hope than
an evening dip.
And if the answer had to wait,
it may have been
because the mower
or the whipped cream beaters
making us languish,
as we knew we would,
until sunset.
Sometimes, we floated
in the cool, weightless
blue of childhood,
breathing only
when necessary.
we slept with
crickets on our window sills,
dreaming of our
mother’s noisy kitchen
all night long.
© by Gretchen Friel.
Used with the author’s permission.

A high school English teacher, Gretchen Friel has a Masters Degree in Secondary English from National-Louis University, and enjoys teaching creative writing as well as sponsoring the quilt club. She is passionate about her family, church, writing, quilting, playing soccer, creating scrapbooks, and trying out new recipes with something from the backyard harvest. Her husband, Shawn, is a gardener, Harley rider, and wood craftsman. A breast cancer survivor, Gretchen recently moved “getting published” up on her bucket list. Now that her first poetry book, Coffee Break for Quilters, is complete, she is working on her first young adult novel.

Post New Comment:
Ahhh, what beautiful words to evoke sweet memories of learning cooking skills from Grandma and Mom, side be side. Summertime was the best with the garden fresh ingredients. Thanks for the lovely word picture memories Gretchen!
Posted 06/20/2013 11:34 AM
I love this! I spent many summer weeks at the my aunt's the country. She had ten children and her kitchen was always noisy! When I slept out on the screened porch, I could hear crickets. I never heard them at home!
Posted 06/20/2013 11:10 AM
Beautiful. What summer should be.
Posted 06/20/2013 10:14 AM
What wonderful memories, reminding us of our own mothers and kitchens of the past.
Posted 06/20/2013 07:10 AM
Just lovely!
Posted 06/20/2013 06:53 AM

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