Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Yes, I Do Think Like This While I'm Cooking . .

There is a lot of advice out there about who you should and shouldn't let read your writing. This isn't a blog about such advice. This is a blog about what happens when you throw all caution to the wind and allow, ah, more specifically-ask, the resident teenager in your house to read something you've written. Yeah. It's kind of like watching that train wreck in slow motion. I don't understand my motives - I think he was the closest, semi-willing person that could offer feedback. Speaking of feedback, the response I got while he read this consisted of one head shake, two unfinished senteneces that started with, "You can't . . . " and a final rhetorical question, offered while walking out of the room, "You don't think like that while you're cooking, do you?"

So I'm sharing with you the little something I wrote on New Year's Eve,
fully admitting that, yes - I do think like this while I'm cooking!

The Last Breakfast of the Year


Eight a.m. and the children are sleeping,
Gifting me an empty kitchen.
I walk noiselessly over cold tile
Leaving the light off,
As if the brightness could wake them in their second story rooms.
I pass over chocolate chip cookies or cold cereal,
Placing my favorite pan on the stove to preheat.

I pull the eggs, opening and closing the fridge door all in one motion.
Swoosh. Like the old year is going with it.

I break one egg, then two.
The cracking is amplified in the motionless house.
I whip the eggs and pour the yellow-gold liquid into the pan
And hear the sizzle.
So loud I think little feet will surely come running.
But I hover over the pan, buffering the sound, hoarding the heat.
The corners of my mouth turn up enough for me to notice I’m smiling.
I refocus on flipping my omelet. This one works. All those years of scrambling, because I thought omelets would be too hard. Who knew?

My whole-wheat English muffins pop up from the toaster,
Like what the New Year is waiting to do.
That loud toaster noise I cannot hush.
I pause, listening for any hint they're awake.

I think the silence is covering them, keeping them sleeping.
The same silence is waking up parts of myself.
I can actually hear myself think.
I stir the Swiss miss chocolate into hot water, watching it dissolve.
Days, weeks, years swirl in my mind, melting into one cup of life.
Longing stirs my heart. Then awe.
Contentment and melancholy take turns auditioning
For the lead role of the day’s play.

I finish my egg sandwich and eye my hot chocolate
thinking it must be the right temperature to sip.
I hear the door and the feet,
Like my thoughts were louder than eggs and toast.
Then I hear the name, my name, “Mommy?”

**

Happy New Year!

7 comments:

Carrie Dair said...

Absolutely darling. I love those quiet moments, too. And yeah...it's great for contemplating changes in life and the newness of both the day and the year. :) Happy New Year!

Jolene Perry said...

I love being awake before everyone else. It's a lovely time of year, thanks for sharing!

Diane Arnett Gardiner said...

Beautifully written. I think that way too. It happens on school mornings as well and I find myself wondering that they should be getting up anyway and yet I try to hold on to the silence and peace of having them safe, warm, and sound in their beds.

Valerie Ipson said...

Love it. Love how you captured the moment.

Judie Hall said...

Exactly! How funny that such a simple moment can mean so much to so many different women out there. Great job Tamara.

TKAstle said...

Yes, I do think like this, too. Only not necessarily while I'm cooking.

It's nice to know I'm not the only weird...um, creative, contemplative one around.

Melody said...

Tamara, I could read your poetry all day long. Beautiful!

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