Posted on: October 4, 2011
1 comment so far


by Gila Heller

raw onions attended my father’s funeral
they sat in the back of the sanctuary and listened with bulbous ears to the eulogies
by then I was accustomed to the stinging pain of onion eyes
but I had never known the bitter aftertaste of death

I started cooking because I loved food
because my mother was always too tired to cook
because I didn’t want to live on casseroles made by well-meaning family
I started cooking because the drugs that prolonged my father’s life
also had some nasty side effects
and for weeks he couldn’t swallow
I started cooking because my father had loved food
because I imagined that he had forgotten what it felt like to chew dinner
instead of getting it through an IV

and my favorite food was pasta
it tasted the same in any shape
I slathered it with the same red sauce and
same stringy cheese
every night the same
every night a table set for three not four

so I put on armor of onionskin and cornsilk
and busied myself in the kitchen
sustaining myself as I couldn’t sustain him
and when I finally found sweetness again
the sugar granules danced like grits on my tongue


One Response to “Armor”

  1. Hannah Heller Says:

    Gila, this is beautiful!

Leave a Reply