The Bitter Heart

Standing at the kitchen window in a splash of yellow light

Shucking a head of lettuce quietly, shifting from foot to foot

Long flowered apron and easy slippers to toss and rest, maybe later

But not before we reach the bitter heart

Leaf by leaf, unpeeled and rinsed and piled in a bowl for salad

Except for the secret inner base anchoring secrets

The part never seen on a restaurant plate, garnished with cheeses and sauces

This is the discard, the rooted toughness.

The ritual is quiet save for quick breaths behind

3 sets of eyes peering over shoulders, fingers tickling and piling for position

Now the sun is setting past long-limbed trees on steep California hills

Brown fur dashes past fence posts and stunted lemon trees

Bitter at the core and through the crunch

Eaten quickly, without breath and frosted with anticipation

A moment seen by generations of our women

In cloudy Turkish kitchens hung with oregano and ringed with fresh bread

Now to 3 mouths or just the lucky one shadowing mother’s skirts

Forgetting laptops and books and video games for minutes

Spent in splashes of light with eyes to the sun

Biting down on bitter overlaid with sweet.

Copyright MommyILoveYouSoBig

Daphne Gaghagen

I am a wife and mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, living in Chula Vista, California! My day job is working from home as a Social Business Manager for IBM. I also maintain my Instagram account, @mommyiloveyousobig. I love weightlifting, yoga, and trying out new recipes. I look forward to traveling the world and experiencing new things with my little family. I spend my free time at the gym, obsessing over Netflix shows, discovering new places and having a beer with the hubby or pals. I love making new mommy friends!
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