Chef de Cuisine
His white apron, languishes
on the back of the kitchen door.
The sun – back home, long before
its curfew, mist rolls in from the moor
breathes its murky breath through windows
as I crack eggs; make a ‘well’ in the flour,
just as he taught me, countless times, before.
A handkerchief, he wraps round, and
around his finger...ponders the Sunday paper;
the crossword – still blank, stares back
at him; black and white squares, look vaguely
familiar – tantalising in their way, but
no more than that.
He smiles – ambles towards me; giggles
like a child as I pour milk into a bowl.
‘You’d like to help? Do a little whisking,
maybe?’ I say – knowing he’s not a clue
which end of the whisk is which, or even
what it’s for...he who'd baked soufflés
to die for.
With a smile – flickering like sunlight through trees,
he eyes me, quizzically – a look says, ‘Don’t
I know you from somewhere?”
Even this slight recognition will die, given time,
and am I prepared for that? No, I am not, despite
the fact I psyche myself up; I never can be.
No more than I can be, again, that starry-eyed bride
of seventeen he'd said, ‘I do’ to...who thought
the worst thing in life was if his soufflé