Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Grandma's Kitchen"

Here is the extra freebie poem from the "Monster House" series, based on meeting the $150 goal in the April 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  The prompt came from aldersprig who wanted to see more of Grandma.  (I got some good ideas from other prompts too.)  This is the first poem written from a different viewpoint than our primary narrator, and it features a young girl exploring Grandma's kitchen ... and beyond.

You can read the other "Monster House" poems on the "Serial Poetry" page of my website.


Grandma's Kitchen


Grandma's kitchen smells of cinnamon
and baking bread and ripe bananas,
but underneath the cooking smells, there is
a tang of oil like what goes on a sewing machine
only it doesn't come from any of the appliances.

Grandma's kitchen is full of windows
that let in the sun,
falling in warm rectangles over the table
and lying against my cheek like flannel,
but there's a spot, one spot,
on the floor that always feels cold.

When I was five,
my little fingers found the hidden catch
behind the refrigerator
that opened the door in the floor.
My seeing-eye gremlin led me
down the secret staircase,
the boards creaking underfoot.

Grandma's laboratory
was a big basement under the house,
full of soft clicks and whirrs and beeps.
I could see only two things there:
my faithful gremlin
and a pile of light like blocks stuck together,
turning and turning in the air
as cubes and angles swallowed each other.

Then Grandma found me
and shooed me back upstairs.
She made me promise
not to talk about what I'd seen
down there.

I said I would,
if she'd promise
to show me  more.

"When you're older, lovey,"
she said to me,
"we'll see about that."

Grandma's kitchen is a good place
for learning to cook,
and it's easier now that I have
the Eye of Fate to give me
a shadowy vision of the room around me.

Grandma's laboratory waits below.
Sometimes she brings up things to share,
strange gizmos with rounded corners
and warm hexagonal buttons
that I'm not supposed to press yet.
Sometimes I can glimpse inside them
a hovering spark of energy,
bright as the tumbling blocks in the basement.

The rest of the family
doesn't think any of her inventions work,
and I want to argue with them
but Grandma always shushes me
and piles more food on the kitchen table.

"Shh, lovey," she says to me.
"Wait and see."

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing
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