Mother Kitchen

Ground zero:

table in a kitchen—
a flour bomb has gone off
in a mixing bowl

Wheat dust blown across a plain of
scattered tea and tablespoons, has
raked a now pallid sifter standing
like a silo near a Crisco can, has
coated all: wood spoon, bottle of vanilla,
measuring cups, a blue/white salt pillar
—Morton’s (when it rains it pours)—
a half spent bag of sugar, and now, 
this poignant thought balloon

Lying on the table top, a rolling pin
end-handles burnished by her ever-baking grip
by which, not long before, she’d shaped a ball of dough
upon a dusted board and rolled it linen-thin
and cut it round to drape it on a mound
of sliced Cortlands cinnamoned in a pastry tin
so that there, upon an opened oven door,
upon its still-warm steel, sits a perfect pie
succulent as a disc of golden sun
glossed by splash of egg and milk,
a scalloped halo round its rim—
around a surface smooth as silk,
whistle clean, as when a day begins

Jim Culleny