TROUT   [ 3 ] 

In the Kitchen 

  I'm at the kitchen table writing a poem when
suddenly my mother is in the room with me. Perched
on a stool, she stirs a mixture for a cake
and I begin to smell its warm honeyed cream, follow
the broad sweep of her wrist round and round
the bowl. Her whole bench is a market stall.
Walnuts jostle peel, sultanas and raisins
grow plump in steaming pans and syrup is dripping
gold across its tin. Exuberant, unbridled, I hear
down thirty years her sifter rattle over
flurried falls of flour. Then she sweeps aside
the mounting drifts and with terse raps breaks
some eggs against her basin rim. Now she beats
her spoon at sloppy yolks, tosses sugar in, smacks
a slice of butter with her bare, pushing hand.
She's on a whirling chase. She savours every
scent, puckers her nostrils, adds a pinch of
ginger, a pinch of salt. Then back to whip the gritty
food, her shiny knuckles damp. She's over-flowing
energy from her deep storage bin and pours
it in a rush. I waited as a child for discarded
pots to lick, yet never learned her art of baking cakes.
But I can relish words and taste her recipes again.
I like to stir up images - give chase as she would do.

óJan Hutchison 
   © 1997