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Making a Salad
by
Glen Sorestad


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          I find in this small task
          the peace of what I have
          and what I’ll someday lose.
                                    -- Tim Bowling, “Washing Dishes”


 
What a pleasant state of contentment
to stand in the kitchen at the counter top,
the lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini
all laid out on the altar before me, awaiting
transformation--the rinsing and peeling,
slicing or dicing, required of each
separate veggie that will metamorphose
the random green host into the oneness
that is salad, the way a vegetable
both loses its own self yet becomes
a distinctive part of the whole,
as each child brings its uniqueness
to a classroom. Such pleasure
I find in this small task.
 
I didn’t always feel this way.
Once, the making of a meal
or any dish was purely functional.
It wasn’t until I was a father I understood
that food and who prepares it and how
is special and holy in the eyes of a child.
I grew in the kitchen, donned chef’s apron,
not from sense of duty, but because
doing it and doing it well revealed
the peace of what I have.
 
Our children are now parents themselves.
They don their own family rites like aprons,
their own ways to show how important
little rituals are in the life of a healthy family.
From the sidelines, as I watch my own sons
assume their fatherly kitchen roles, I  smile
and am grateful for all I’ve had
and what I’ll someday lose.
 
From What We Miss (thistledown press, 2010).
Used with the author's permission.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Glen Sorestad is a Canadian poet, fiction writer, editor, publisher, anthologist, and public speaker. Author of over twenty books of poetry and many short stories, his work has appeared in more than sixty anthologies and textbooks. His latest book of poems is Hazards of Eden: Poems of the Southwest(Lamar University Press, 2015) Sorestad served from 2000-2004 as Saskatchewan’s first Poet Laureate and has given public readings of his poetry in every province of Canada, as well as in the U.S. and many parts of Europe. In November of 2010, Glen was inducted into the esteemed Order of Canada for his lifetime of outstanding literary achievement, dedication to his community, and service to his nation. Glen lives in Saskatoon; learn more about him here.

 

 


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