Rough Patches

Alice Walker summoned
The kitchen erotica, sent us
Scurrying to cabinets for olive oil
To lubricate skin, scabs and scars.
My doctors erased mine with careful
Cuts and tucks like hospital corners,
skin kissing skin, hurts hidden.

In our kitchen, my husband
Slices into chicken, removes skin,
Cuts careful one-inch cubes. I do not
Handle raw meat. I slice cooked
Sausage at an angle, toss in olive oil
That splatters the thin skin
of my wrist. I tuck my hands
into fists. I do not own an apron.

My brother wore an apron. It read:
A Wolf in Chef’s Clothing.
He made spaghetti for Dad and me
On Sundays after church. He browned
Meat from the half-cow in our freezer.
It was his specialty, as were his biting
words that stung but left no marks.

2 thoughts on “Rough Patches

  1. I’ve decided to start telling you when I read your blog and you’ve moved me with your words, so be prepared for comments on nearly every entry.

    I especially love “tucks like hospital corners”… there is something soothing about sliding your skin down into professionally tucked sheets like that and describing how your doctors eased your pain this way is masterful.

    And the last bit, “biting words that stung but left. Or marks.” Those leave scars just as real and deep. This was a beautifully poetic way to share this memory.



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