Ann Keiffer

A Life In The Knife Drawer

Big green Tupperware
bowl, my dishpan.
Hot, hot, hot water,
frothy with suds.
Just routine—
washing the dishes—
but I pull my chef’s knife
from the steamy white meringue,
stroke down the blade
with the bumpy side
of my sponge
and suddenly feel
in my whole body
the living relationship
I have with this knife.
It’s just a knife,
not fancy or expensive,
but to hold it
is to feel all the times
this knife and I have chopped
onions, carrots, peppers
for soup on a rainy day
…all the times we’ve
trimmed the stalk-ends
off fresh broccolini
to cook and serve with tilapia
out on the balcony
where my husband and I
eat dinner at the end of
so many blessed ordinary days
…all the times
this knife and I have cut, diced,
chopped or chunked to fix
something a little bit fancy
for company or something
homey and hearty for my son
who’s coming to dinner
and always tells me how much
he appreciates “a good meal.”
This knife and I work together
in the kitchen nearly every day,
so companionably
we know each other.
This isn’t a poem
about food or cooking
or gatherings or people,
though it could be.
It is about noticing
that things have lives
they share with us.
Everything is connected.

Ann L. Keiffer
November, 2021

Image: Unsplash


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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