Rhubarb on the Terrace

413 readings

115

FINALIST
Jury Selection

Also available :

I creep down the stairs with muffled steps. I turn on the kitchen light. Time seems to be standing still. Copper saucepans lined up against the wall, pottery bowls, cups and plates on the shelves, a ladle, wooden spoons in the earthenware pot, all are frozen in expectation of a hand reaching for them. Only the clock on the wall is emitting its familiar tick-tock.
I fill the metal kettle, and place it on the gas. I remove the cloth from the round loaf with the golden crust, and cut two good slices which I slide into the toaster. I open the door of the wooden cupboard, and pick up the glass jar, the one with a label that reminds me of those I used to stick on my school books. Delicate little writing, with precise rounded letters: ‘Rhubarb jam by Mamina’. My grandmother, that old lady to whom I owe so much, and who is asleep upstairs.
The kettle begins its little song, the bread leaps out all golden and crispy. With a full tray, I open the door onto the terrace and sit down at the table. The spot is still peopled by shadows, lit dimly by the ceiling light in the kitchen. I pour the tea into my bowl. Curls of steam escape, releasing the scent of bergamot. I spread the rhubarb jam over my slices of toast. Butter is unnecessary, this jam is enough by itself to complement the bread. 
Like a sigh, I can feel the still cool air of the night vanishing. The sky lightens, taking on a pink hue. I am ready. I am waiting, impatient. The orange-toned disc so long awaited reveals itself and I munch delightedly into my toast and jam. This is my own happy rising, just mine alone. This special time that I cherish whenever I visit my childhood home. An explosion of flavor in my mouth, the acidic taste of the rhubarb and the crustiness of the toast. My taste buds aroused, I savour each mouthful while my marvelling eyes, never tiring of the spectacle, witness the renaissance of this wild nature I love so much. I let myself be carried away in this bubble and hold my breath so that it does not burst too soon.

Translated by Wendy Cross

115

Few words for the author?

Take a look at our advice on commenting here!

To post comments, please

You will also like it!

Written by the same author

5 MINUTES

In three days, it will be Christmas. Despite the decorations illuminating the streets, the wreaths of mistletoe attached to the doors, and the decorated trees that he glimpses through windows, ...

On the same theme