Mise en Place

Evidently, I love poetry about Southern food. Here’s another one from Gravy.

Mise en Place
by Melissa Dickson

It’s a routine mole removal, but he charts
the dark sweep of skin inside his patient’s forearm,
an oven burn long since healed to this calligraphy.
He sees them every day, four or five inches beyond the palm,
proof that when the timer chimes its impatient trill
these women grab dishrags instead of oven mitts

It’s written here as clear as the cookbooks
she’s long since stopped consulting: the toddler lurching
into the scent of an unleashed oven, the slick
of applesauce to mop up, the rice and butter beans
simmering stovetop, the little thing it is to scar
an arm, and the sin it is to burn the cornbread.



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