The Yellow Mixing Bowl

he stands at the stove in the center 

                                          of the kitchen in the center of a valley on the 

                                          left-hand side of the Mississippi yellow mixing 

                                          in the crook of his right arm whisking flour until 

                                          it dissolves then siphons small ponds of batter 

                                          onto the cast iron which was too heavy to make 

                                          off with in my backpack when he died

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I was eight when we met 

my mom already enthralled 

drove us to his bright house 

in the dark country a deer 

head hung on the wall he made 

me a steak brought me a heaping 

bowl of ice cream swimming in 

chocolate sauce in the morning 

we hiked the hillsides for tall 

mushrooms, once home the ants

crawled out of the mushrooms and 

across the countertops we fried them 

humbly in butter and garlic my mom 

has always been starving we have 

always been broke so when she refused 

to come the two of us two plates deep 

at the Old Country breakfast buffet would 

collapse into grins over piles of donuts and 

soft scrambled eggs a year later he’d walk