Sunday Feb 05

Bennett Poetry Deborah J. Bennett graduated from the Creative Writing program at Boston University. Her poems and translations have appeared in Salamander, Artlines 2 and elsewhere. Her prose has appeared on Cognoscenti and Edify, among others. A faculty development grant recently took her to South America to translate Argentina’s Magdalena Ponssa’s collection Orfanatos. In addition, she recently attended Bread Loaf’s Translators’ Conference and the Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference.  

Shelter in Place

Kitchen in daylight, hotbed of serendipity: failed
mousse, perfect pudding. Substitute to secret
ingredient, buttermilk que sobra yields a dense
biscuit that will not sink. Happiness by accident.

Night kitchen more storm than shelter. Full cup, milk
or water, a kiss on the forehead.   Smoothed hair, patted
shoulder before the squeal of tires, swinging lunch pail
bearing down. Hide. Do not seek.

How much space behind that refrigerator? Two children
a unit of measurement. The heated black coil
occupies their small fingers. No cereal crumbs
to worry. Like the lighthouse keeper’s wife—spick-and-span

the house, open for inspection at a moment’s
notice. Loose rug, pool of dried milk, boot print
grounds for eviction at least. Suffer the wife, secure
the home. Not a single cobweb caught in the web

of tubing pulsing with cooling agents. How she looked up
at us, eyes pooling with burst blood vessels; Stay put,
and then, silent Do not cry—words of caution,
words of comfort. How he straddled her, mute beast

of burden. My kitchen, day or night. Juices, oils, plant
and animal detritus penetrate pine floors. Morning
dishes anticipate dinner. Refrigerator flush
with counter and cabinet.