In my childhood home, the time
was always kitchen time: breakfast
o’clock with islands of egg

bobbing in percolated coffee, batons of steam
from the rice pot at noon; angelus of stew
and rounds of amargoso. Our daily stations,

measured in steps between broom closet
and kitchen sink, hollow drum that stood
outside, gaping wide to admit

the rain whenever it chose to come.
The roosters scratched then rested, rested
and scratched in the backyard dirt

under coils of the chayote vine, under the dull
grey skillet of sky which shone in patches
through newspaper-rubbed windowpanes.


In response to Via Negativa: Music Lesson.

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