Recipe for Reflection
I made dinner at 10:30 tonight.
Fried Kielbasa, macaroni and cheese, cinnamon applesauce, and
buttermilk biscuits. It’s what I always eat when I’m missing home.
I had everything finished and on the table, except for the biscuits.
I never remember to start them ahead of time.
So, I waited— watching them impatiently through the window in the oven door,
and I could hear
the muted sound of a TV playing too loudly on the other side of the thin,
textured metal of her front door,
feel the springy twist of the handle, which barely needed turning before
bursting through, into the warm, familiar air of her living room,
like we always did,
laughing and chasing each other onto the burnt orange and yellow patterns
on the linoleum floor of her kitchen,
where she was, still setting the table,
filling iced glasses with sweet tea, just off the stove,
yelling for us to sit down, act like we had some sense, and to wait until the
biscuits were done to touch our plates.
She never remembered to start them ahead of time.
I see her in me—
in the baking aisle of the grocery store,
in sunset places on the parkway,
and tonight, in the reflection of the small, grease-coated window
of the oven door, waiting for the biscuits to brown.