Nora Hickey

First—the mother opens her throat

            and singsin the midst

of the unraveling universe—

hands make hateful work of chores. A grace

in being done, finished, complete. For an hour

the mother forgets the fatted calf. Second—

the father turns up the song on the radio
            and roars into stale air. The traffic

a smear of red. Thick enough to feel

in concert, though he is alone. In Wisconsin,

everyone is abandoned. At home,

his attractive wife awaits. She
swears there is a third thing

she left off the grocery list, tonight. The milk

sleeps in its bottle. The bananas nearly peel
themselves from heat. Her doubt a small

companion she feeds. The meat, the meat.





I was looking at old recipes of my Grandma's (from [Indiana]) and thinking about food and origins and her and my Grandpa's lives around the time my father was born.