Poppy Seeds

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3

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On Sunday morning the air is sweet,

orange zest and poppy seeds and

flour pushed across the countertop like paint,

my mother’s finger-marks running

through the soft white in haphazard circles and a

fat mass of dough sitting contently in the middle.

The kitchen is warm and balmy,

cast in early-morning-sunlight yellow

deepened by the oven-heat.

My mother pushes the dough out at its edges,

flattening it with her palms while I hold my chin in mine,

crushing poppy seeds against my teeth and

watching her.

 

In the Springtime the creek is warm,

the soft hum of water rolling over stones like glass

being slowly shattered underneath a feather pillow.

My father kicks the dirt away and I

replace it:

cheese sandwiches in plastic bags and

grape juice bottles on a

red-white checkered kitchen towel.

The air is clear and so pure, as if the water was thinned and poured

upwards into the sky, gently, so the world wouldn’t think

it was drowning.

He tells me stories of his father and his father between

bites of soft bread and sticky yellow cheese.

 

In the night-time the air moves through the house

carrying heat on its back, flames cracking

in the living room and against my hands,

fingers outstretched to catch them.

My mother sits beside me warming her feet

and nursing chamomile tea to warm

her stomach. We eat poppy seed-spotted bread,

daughter and mother and buttery forkfuls

melding coolly in the fire-light.

My father has fallen asleep beside

a block of yellow-black bread.

The poppy, I think,

is a homely flower.

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Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
A beautiful narrative about familial ties we are all only rediscovering in our current climate. Congratulations for your victory.

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