Poppy Seeds

1 min

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.


A few words for the author? Comment below. 3 comments

Take a look at our advice on commenting here

To post comments, please
Image of Mary Tabor
Mary Tabor · ago
The turn at the end, so perfect with the play on the word "homely". What a grand write. Kudos.
Image of Tony Martello
Tony Martello · ago
I felt like I was there with you...sensational and imaginative! Check out my entry, "Maize of Color" in the short fiction category of the America: color it in contest and vote if you like it. Tony
Image of Prithvijeet Sinha
Prithvijeet Sinha · ago
A beautiful narrative about familial ties we are all only rediscovering in our current climate. Congratulations for your victory.

You might also like…