Food Poem by Jim Daniels

This poem is not directly about food. The imagery of two siblings over a kitchen sink surrounded by leftovers makes me smile. Maybe you will too.

Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake

at my kitchen sink, the bathroom upstairs
clogged with family from out of town

spending the night after the wake
and the after-wake—cold beverages

have been consumed and comfort food,
leftovers bulging both the fridge

and the minifridge. In our fifties, both
half-asleep half-awake, we face each

other. My sister’s smile foams white
down her chin at the end of a day

on which no one has smiled. We laugh.
We may never brush our teeth together again.

No mirror down here to see our haggard faces.
We rinse, we spit. As we were taught.

“Brushing Teeth with My Sister after the Wake” by Jim Daniels from The Middle Ages. © Red Mountain Press, 2018.

From the Writer’s Almanac

 

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