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AR #57 Cover
number 57

by Rebecca Cook

The Kitchen That Never Stops Waiting

This poem is not a cup
or a kitchen, or a hook waiting for
the lone arm of the favorite cup of
the woman who is missing from this poem.

This poem is not a window full of winter or
the steam rising from the whistling kettle
shrilling into the empty house.

This poem is not the hand soap or the residue of figs.
This poem is not a toaster full of fingerprints.

This poem is not the flowered recipe box
or the silver sifter crusted over with flour.
It is not the five pound bags of hardened sugar or
the rows and rows of unopened jellies.

This poem is not the peeling floor so accustomed to her feet,
nor is it the steps, two pairs,
leading to the lower rooms of the house.

This poem is not the cup just shattered,
finally dropped,
the floor absorbing the sound of fragments glad to let go,
glad to finally be free of the hook that had moored the cup
to the poem that did not want the cup or
the kitchen or the woman or the window or the winter or the steam or
the kettle or the soap or the figs or the fingerprints or the recipes or
the sifter or the sugar or the jellies but

had very much wanted the floor to take the cup,
to take the hook,
to yank the kitchen and the winter and the woman through the wall
into the place where poems are not yet born,
were they do not need mothers,
were they do not listen for the sound of her cup
swinging slightly on its hook after
she just hung it up again,
just now,
didn't she?

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