Magical Kitchens

A’Ja Lyons

Steel pots ooze precious bounties
to fill my burgeoning belly

Hair pressed and steamed
I’d run seeking out savory aromas

Granny’s kitchen was small
room for just one cook
One little table, two tiny chairs,
where I ate enough for three

The stove’s pilot light was always out,
but Granny’s magic was everlasting

Mama asked Granny for her recipes,
but no magic sprang forth from mama’s pots
Try as she might, she couldn’t conjure my delight

Granny’s greens smelled of fresh meats from a local market,
produce picked only a day prior

From nothing, they made much
in small, old homes
and even smaller kitchens,

Digging and crushing through rust and dust,
iron, nickel, and their few dimes
Magical meals created in sacred cauldrons
entered my belly, creating a bond

That I’d stir, saute, bake-
and return to my son

A’Ja Lyons is a Black, bisexual writer from the Gulf Coast currently residing in the Upper Midwest. She is a first-year graduate student at Iowa State University’s MFA program in Creative Writing and the Environment. A’Ja is the proud mother of a highly athletically gifted and animal-loving child.

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