beaded trout

Cooking Stories

I wait in her kitchen
saturated by the stories
Nana stirs into the lemon sauce.

She calls herself
a Canook from Quebec,
mixes both languages for me,
who is allowed only English.

'Ma petite, the sou_sou sauce, eh?
The sou-sou you stir
slowly, slowly.
Attendez, listen,
I add the stories to sweeten
the sou sou, eh?"

She speaks then of her mother,
      grandmother, aunts,
strong women,
      strangers,
my ancestors.

She imprisons
her long black hair
at the nape of her neck,
though one stubborn tendril escapes.

Like me, I whisper, like me.

Maimed by rules
of priests, nuns,
      their daily litany
of being nothing,
      a shadow, a sinner;
in Nana's kitchen
the aroma of burnt offerings,
      animal carcass,
          musky sage,
                sou-sou lemon sauce,
lethal to their rules.

I listen and soar along
the downdraft of her words.

Linda Boyden


contents of issue 3

Blessing For the Meal
Indira Allegra

Gracias, Sabás
Brandon Cesmat

Red Door on Mott Street
Stephania JT Russell

Preserves
Howard Miller

windfall
Martin Hinkel

Cooking Stories
Linda Boyden

Table Leavings
Rain Prud'homme_Cranford Gomez

Kabubu Bread
Luke Warm Water

Into The Cauldron of Iron
Lorraine Cathey


Linda Boyden Biography

Linda Boyden writes children's books and poetry. She's a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers. Visit www.lindaboyden.com


Permission to publish poems in this one context was granted by the authors, who unless otherwise specified, hold copyright on these works.