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Making a Salad
Glen Sorestad


          I find in this small task
          the peace of what I have
          and what I’ll someday lose.
                                    -- Tim Bowling, “Washing Dishes”

What a pleasant state of contentment
to stand in the kitchen at the counter top,
the lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini
all laid out on the altar before me, awaiting
transformation--the rinsing and peeling,
slicing or dicing, required of each
separate veggie that will metamorphose
the random green host into the oneness
that is salad, the way a vegetable
both loses its own self yet becomes
a distinctive part of the whole,
as each child brings its uniqueness
to a classroom. Such pleasure
I find in this small task.
I didn’t always feel this way.
Once, the making of a meal
or any dish was purely functional.
It wasn’t until I was a father I understood
that food and who prepares it and how
is special and holy in the eyes of a child.
I grew in the kitchen, donned chef’s apron,
not from sense of duty, but because
doing it and doing it well revealed
the peace of what I have.
Our children are now parents themselves.
They don their own family rites like aprons,
their own ways to show how important
little rituals are in the life of a healthy family.
From the sidelines, as I watch my own sons
assume their fatherly kitchen roles, I  smile
and am grateful for all I’ve had
and what I’ll someday lose.
From What We Miss (thistledown press, 2010).
Used with the author's permission.

Glen Sorestad is a Canadian poet, fiction writer, editor, publisher, anthologist, and public speaker. Author of more than 25 books of poetry and numerous short stories, his work has appeared in more than 70 anthologies and textbooks and his book, Selected Poems from Dancing Birches, was published in Italy in a bilingual edition. Glen has been appointed to The Order of Canada, that country's highest non-military honor, served as Saskatchewan’s first Poet Laureate from 2000 - 2004, and has given public readings of his poetry in every province of Canada, as well as in many U.S. states and many parts of Europe. Glen lives in Saskatoon with his wife, Sonia, who he claims is his "first and most enthusiastic reader and editor." Learn more about Glen here.




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