Mom claims she forgot, two decades without
touching a chopping board. But it’s still drying
up against the wall after being washed.
“Just buy frozen ones,” I pled, waking this morning
instead to find ingredients and flour painting the table,
filling the wrinkles of her hands. Eternal summers give us
less reason to handwash, too much like wringing sweat, but
the swept-back hair exposing her slick forehead is from
her habit of forgetting things and taking the long way.
It is the skins. Every fold pressed in has her going
back and forth. She loads in water chestnuts, mushrooms,
diced meat and the last of her morning. She serves them
in soup hot as the afternoon, still fresher than the memory when
I last had them at ten – it was night then, same ingredients
on a moldy board with fewer scars than her in Dad’s old house.
At least she remembers the recipe, and doesn’t need to return there.