An Uncooked Dinner

This poem has not gone through workshop yet.  It may not be in its final form, but I wanted to share it.

The oven was chirping again.
I called mom to tell her
and we listened to our musical cookery.
She turned the switch from hot
to off. She opened the oven
and the cheeping spread through the kitchen,
a chorus of tweets.

What do we do,
I asked her, standing on the crack between the brown carpet and cool, tiled kitchen floor,
next to the cupboard whose doors were taller than me.
I didn’t want to get too close
to the oven; the birds
might fly out
of the vent.
I can’t cook
with them in there, she said,
her hand still on the oven knob.
I’m hungry, I said.
She closed the oven door,
and the chirping became hushed,
as if she tied the birds’ beaks together and told them to sleep.

The birds would not be vacated
from their home
for our dinner,
We’ll have to make food
without it.
She reached for the instant mashed potatoes in the cupboard
but then remembered
they had to be cooked.
Honey Nut Cheerios only needs milk,
so I grabbed the box and
two bowls and we
chewed the little O’s and sipped honey-flavored milk
while the birds chirped along.


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