– for Judi Reichart


This is how I see you

Through the steam, scented of garlic and ginger

Your form clouded in color

Mango, lime, orchid purple, onion red

Your bare feet slapping the kitchen floor

While your work-hard hands

Slice and stir and peel and pour

For all of us who draw near

Old ladies humpbacked with secrets

Young women hiding their battered faces

Spider monkeys, starving cats, and awestruck boys

To all of us who need you

You offer food, and a task, and time

Time to speak and to be heard

A glimpse of the good

At the heart

At the heart

Of the world