In my quiet kitchen,

I lay my head on my shoulder, close my eyes, and listen:

Golden oil crackles in a copper pot, 

Crisping bits of egg-dipped chicken.

Unpeeled potatoes roll along the countertop,

Only to be fluffed up in the famous blue bowl.

The stove timer buzzes,

Feet clunk down the stairs,

Chairs squeak around the table, making room.

Forks kink against one another, battling for the first piece,

Tongues lick the last drops of gravy from dishes.

The television trumpets the five o’clock news

And mouths are full of laughter and food.

But when I open my eyes,

It is five to midnight, decades later– 

Empty, silent, 

Save for the slow, sigh of the heater,

The hum of the fridge,

The tick of the clock.

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