Flour dusted across wooden cutting boards,
A plastic bin with freshly kneaded dough
Sits on the edge of the table, cradling
A knife ready to cut the rolled strips
Into thick buttons.
The girl pulls out the rolling pin,
A thick wooden dowel with no grips,
Grabbing the dough by its love handles,
Spins it in place while rolling forward,
Not backward, Flipping, repeating.
The man watches, filling the flattened
Disks with flattened potato,
Large hands folding clumsily
While small hands push limberly.
Thus they work as a line,
The tall being in sandals with
Buckles painted on the straps,
Next to the diligent girl with
The hair so long it draped down
To touch her dusty toes.
Oils simmer, smoking, filling the
House more than the mother and
The father combined with their vice,
Cast iron skillet teetering precariously
On an uneven range.
Visitors step in through the open door,
Marveling at the man’s skill
With less delicate affairs,
Enjoying the results of the work,
Happily chatting over cups of
Hot water and sugar cubes.
The hot pouches cool and are stored
For the next day’s meal,
The souls disperse and return
To monotonous routines of old,
Waiting again, separated by
Wrinkled walls, for their next
Author’s Note: One of the few times my host family trusted me to cook with them. Once they saw I wasn’t clueless, they decided to let me in on meal preparation more often. This mainly involved me just handing them stuff, but I suppose I had to work my way up.