Mum’s Kitchen – Manuela Yee


In my mother’s kitchen:

Red as blood rosemary beads hang on a

Cupboard knob,

Red stripes on the curtains,

A red crucifix,

Italian telegrams with red borders.

The linoleum floor

Had a hospital strength hygiene.

The vintage metal sugar, rice, flour, tea and coffee containers

With black labels

Were still holding up a ‘Women’s Weekly’ cookbook.

Its butter-stained pages

Were a mistreated orphan

Inside a bookmark:

‘Catterina from father’

Now in a different hand:

‘This book set me free

from the nuns in Piemonte, Italy.

It was found in a closed

Suitcase in the snow.


Copyright Manuela Yee 2013

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