Kitchen Work

Orange-lit maw of
the oven, its hot yawn.

My mother’s hand,
small and bare,

numb from decades
of kitchen work,

professional and
domestic, taking hold

of casserole dish,
cookie tray, roasting pan.

Younger, I never
wanted to wear

my father’s ties,
never dreamed

of myself in his
muddy work boots,

but I wanted like
nothing else to wear

my mother’s callouses
as leather gloves,

to feel their weight
like a ring-heavy hand,

to deck myself out
in her unfeeling—

she who sent her heart
to bed without supper. 

Robert Cannella is pursuing an MA in English at New Mexico State University. His poetry has appeared in The Briar Cliff Review. 

Photo credit: Jennifer England

Photo credit: Jennifer England