Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | May 22, 2010

In the Kitchen

Summer 2008. The Kitchen.

I remember warmth, the wood stove black and smoke-smelling, dangerous – don’t get too close but warm the cold toes from outside. Snow, melting into rainy frost puddles from mittens, hats, gloves, scarves, clothes-pinned above my head. A gnawed pole guards the round, wooden table – some child or dog or maybe bear chewed into one side of that pole, caving in and marking the square shape with ragged white, crumbling-off bits.

Above my head, mugs – hung on square nails from the ceiling beams. Mugs with santa clauses and trees and Mickey Mouse and pine cones. Mugs that came down to hold tea then went back up again, where I had to pull up a chair and stand on top to reach. The floor is yellow/orange linoleum patterns to discover every day, dog hair pushed into corners, the dog bed beneath the phone, but she never lies there she always lies right at your feet where you trip and both of you bolt up, surprised!

And there’s a word. A word painted into the wall above the sink – painted with a finger when this room was new, scrawled there as an afterthought in the drying plaster. Just one word.

Love.

I wrote this at Jo Knowles’s Writing Prompts workshop at the 2010 New England SCBWI conference. The prompt was: describe a kitchen from your childhood. Look hard enough and you can make out the word “love” above the window above the sink in this photo.

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