She leans over the table –
one of Dad’s flannel shirts sprinkled with flour,
rolled to her elbows,
a forgotten pink curler just above her shoulder.
She hums along with a static’y Sinatra
crooning from the transistor radio
that leans against the window,
metal hangar snaking its way toward Heaven.
The kitchen table is covered with dough
she flattens, using a wooden rolling pin
once belonging to her own mother.
I hold my breath
as she quickly scoops
spoonfuls of ricotta cheese
along the edge of dough,
and in one expert move flips the entire line
to create pillows of ravioli
we will later eat as family,
when my father and brothers return
from the high school football game.
With a pizza cutter
I now own,
she steers like a race car driver
on a slalom track,
in and around each pocket,
while I follow –
a loyal pit crew
picking up what’s left behind.
I am happy
to be here.
No boys, no punching,
no loud voices.
and Mom –
this messy kitchen,
the smell of sauce and meatballs,
the smoke from her cigarette
as it swirls softly into the light.