Mother ruled our world like a queen in the kitchen on linoleum floors. I remember so well.
I stood tall counting my age on two hands.
I wanted to be close to her.
My knees trembled. I stared at her hair tied up in a red sweat band around her black shiny hair.
She threw Martha White flour in a big ceramic bowl
Scooping up gooey lard in her fists.
Pouring milk from a plastic milk jug.
Her thoughts were somewhere between her elbows and white glue.
She mixed madness with flour.
Baked in an oven as hot as hell. I remember the smell.
“Please, mother your biscuits with butter.”
“Do you have a recipe?” “Written in a book?” “Stacked in a cabinet?” “Hidden in a drawer?” “Do you remember it all by heart?”
With pointed fingers she said “Flour on the floor, your handprints on cabinet doors, No, not today!”
She refused to cook my daddy’s favorite dish, spaghetti.
I stood in fear and silence when I heard him yell, “Tomatoes, onions and butter…none of that Italian crap.”
She had no tomatoes in her cellar, no onions on the shelf. She forgot to buy the pasta. I never saw him thank her for a meal she prepared.
“When will you learn how to cook a decent meal?” he said. Nothing she made was good enough for him… Not her food, not her children, not her love.
For sixty years on a white cloth towel that kept yesterday’s flour from spilling in a drawer she dusted flour on the sticky parts, with a rolling pin and anger she laid it flat. With a jagged edge circle she cut vengeance into bite size pieces.
She kneaded his dough and didn’t expect to be loved. In a silent world she never said a word. Till death do us part she fed him on butter and bitterness made with tears.
Those little flat circles called homemade biscuits.