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Some Days the Kitchen Talks Back

by Shikha S. Lamba

though it’s often a lonely place for her,

despite the pungent smells arising out of copper

aluminium, and dark Teflon, enveloping her skin.

The tap drips the same song each day,

past the ensemble of neglected dishes.

The empty vessels chant her name, and

daily she hears it called out in annoyance,

famished, empty stomachs screaming.

She’s well acquainted with such hunger, though

her mind squabbles for freedom elsewhere.

Picture of cutting board, wooden spoon, spices, flowers and herbs, with a page that has the word 'love' written over it.
Image credit: Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

Her grandmother often said,

stir your problems away dear child.

There is no greater pleasure for a woman,

no greater pleasure for a wife and mother

than to cook and feed the hungry mouths of her family.

You know what they say about a man’s heart…

But, what of her heart that seeks company elsewhere?

Away from the daily soaking of lentils, away from the

crackling sound of spices roasting themselves, away from

the boiling, kneading, slicing, grinding, greasing, toasting.

What if she feels trapped, marinated in a daily grind with no respite?

Have you ever heard a cooking pot

bang itself loud on a kitchen floor,

vibrating in inexhaustible sound waves

through the glutinous walls?

That’s the kind of freedom she’ll smile for,

no longer hiding in some corner of her mind.

When it happens, let the fall be a loud one, she thinks,

and let it (me) shake and break a tile or two,

crack a porcelain out of its perfection.

Let it bounce and break free against the walls, making music,

notes rising like steam from the old wretched pot.

Let it (me) break free, even if only for a day.

Image of blonde women with arms spread out and seemingly wanting to scream.
Image credit: Canva


Black and white photo of the author, Shikha S. Lamba.
Shikha S. Lamba

Shikha is a jewelry designer & poet living in Hong Kong. She is also the co-founder and co-editor of an online magazine, Coffee and Conversations. Born in New Delhi, even as a child Shikha was always inspired by all things creative, be it language, photography or art.

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