The Family Kitchen

It wasn’t ornate, just an ordinary kitchen with no more than the necessary appliances that circled the perimeter of the room. I remember the old red stool, now it would cost more than I can afford. There was a cut-out wooden doghouse hung on the wall near the door. One of us was always in it. Each hound had our name on it. There was a door leading to the side yard on one side and a doorway to the dining room on the other side. The floor was white linoleum. Painted walls, non-descript, as I don’t remember the color.

My fragrance of memory stirs up an aroma of home baked bread, along with other pastries, mingled with fresh spaghetti sauce simmering on The stove. The side door was always open letting the warm August air in along with the smells of chickens from the back yard. There was no air-conditioning. How did a family of seven fit in that small space? But I don’t remember complaining. Now I often long to be all together again.

Somehow fragrance and aroma grace the memories of pain. Mother’s yeast rose to nourish her own, perhaps in an unconscious effort to mask father’s fermented yeast rising within to unwittingly destroy. Bread and wine do not always mix. She won. Her yeast and the chickens bring happier stories.

Higher goes the sun
We sweat and thirst for water
Earth turns…and then we are cold



Haibun Monday at dVerse. A real traditional haibun. Remember a room in the first house you lived in. Bring the reader in.

The haiku must

 It must be nature based
 It must be three lines (5-7-5 syllables OR short-long-short)
 It must have a direct or subtle relationship to the prose paragraphs; enrich the prose without condensing the prose.
 It must include a KIGO (word or phrase associated with a particular season). See suggestions below in section on the SAIJIKI.
 Trickiest for me – although only 3 lines, a haiku must have two parts including a shift, an added insight. Japanese poets include a KIREJI (cutting word). BUT there’s no linguistic equivalent in the English language therefore punctuation creates the cut: a dash, comma, an ellipsis, an exclamation point.Sometimes it’s simply felt in the pacing or reading.

About Mary (tqhousecat)

I am a wife and a mother of two grown children. I love Jesus and sharing my faith through written words. I currently have a poetry blog and also write on My main focus is hope in Christ. I only wish that whoever reads this will be blessed, inspired and occasionally amused.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Family Kitchen

  1. lillian says:

    Oh Mary. This is such a heartfelt recollection….detail by detail. I am struck by the doors you mention…most especially the cut-out wooden doghouse decoration on the wall…with the named hounds. No doubt, meant for humor by the person who designed it but it could take on a bitter meaning, to see one’s name within that cut-out house.
    And the other doors….a family within the room. With a mother baking bread and that working yeast to nourish…to sustain. And then the fermented yeast that brings on the memories of pain. This is such a detailed write. You have transported your reader into your childhood home, with all its mixed emotions.
    The haiku is beautifully done to amplify the prose….the ellipsis within the third line…changes the tone completely of those three lines. There is nature within the haiku, the season through the sun and the sweat and the thirst….and the added insight from the kireji (ellipsis) . . . that adds a finality of pain, of coldness.
    Thank you, Mary. This is just a very powerful write. Your words are beautiful and revealing and show the strength you have to write them down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Waltermarks says:

    I just love the way you are able to describe in such beautiful detail, the kitchen of your childhood; the love and the pain as well. But it sounds as though your mom was able to make it a place of love regardless of your dad, great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rothpoetry says:

    A really great story Mary. Love the descriptions of your kitchen and the smell of food. Your haiku is perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo says:

    I love this, particularly your last paragraph and your haiku — very well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You really went to the interior. Brava.


  6. Frank Hubeny says:

    I like those two perspectives on yeast. As I think back the farmhouse we grew up in was very small, but it seemed just right.


  7. kim881 says:

    I love your description of a functional but homely kitchen, Mary, which is spiced with the smell of cooking. Olfactory memories have to be the best! I really enjoyed the section about the two different kinds of yeast.


  8. Robbie Yates says:

    You have a wonderful way with words. 😊


  9. annell4 says:

    Yes, it was such fun to return to the kitchen of your childhood!


  10. hannamccown says:

    This is beautiful Mary. Nostalgic and brought me back to my own first memories. Thank you.


  11. I especially love how you used the scents in the memories here.


  12. lynn__ says:

    I can smell yeasty bread rising and spaghetti sauce simmering. Gorgeous haiku, Mary!


  13. That haiku is wonderful, so fitting to your story. Smells of cooking come right through!


  14. jazzytower says:

    So visual, I can smell the smells, including the whiff of chickens in the yard. All that other stuff stays with you. As you get older you learn to handle it better. A really good write.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.