Latkes in Minneapolis
Delayed by storms, I’m having latkes
in a hotel and you all come flooding
back to me. Grandma pressing them
with an old spatula on her Brooklyn
stove. Dad saying, “Ma, you’re making
enough for an army.” And Mom having
a cigarette in the corner, arms folded,
back against the wall.
In my sixty-sixth year, the smell of latkes
makes me feel you mother, a year after
your death. I miss what we never had.
You were always burning up, pressing
things on the stove. I still don’t know
why. But today, on a cloudy day in
Minneapolis, I wonder if, like some-
one trapped in a burning building,
you pushed me into the world
to save me from your fire.
This excerpt is from a book in progress, Returning to Where I’ve Never Been.
*photo credit: Suludan Diliyaer