Cooking Cream of Wheat

By Deanie Blank

This cereal I stir —
a mistaken market buy —
the kind she cooked.
Silk milk swirls, stove light
glows gold and ice blue
on waves the sheen of new
snow.   With heat beneath,
a sweet smell rises.  Foam
breaks out as alabaster
grains mix to thick 
drifting memories.   I saw you,
flirting flapper, in the tarnished
silver frame.  You were the eldest,
left coveted classes to help when
your father could no longer climb
into that bituminous pit.   I saw
you sublimely posed,
in another frame beside
your white-trousered groom.
You combed my snarled curls
so hard, would not let me keep
the kitten.  Afraid of gas left
burning, or that I might fall.
You wrung clothes with the old
Maytag after work — Third Floor,
Ladies Sportswear, Better Dresses
in the cellar, in the night.
You washed stains 
of my pubescent embarrassment,
said when sex was best,
thought yourself  big boned,
became bent, shrunk.  That night
you woke in fright...
It’s OK, it’s me...I’m your daughter.
You, who could play a saxophone,
balance books, stretch a ground beef
pound like loaves and fishes.  Here now
cooking cream of wheat.

Deani Blank has published work in many literary journals and magazines including:  Edgar Literary Magazine, Main Channel Voices, Mediphors - a Literary Journal of Medical Professionals, Potpourri, Expressions, Saturday Magazine, Northeast Magazine, Poetica Magazine, and The Whistling Fire.  Blank was elected a Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Tenth Anniversary Prize finalist. Also, her poetry was performed in the Plays and Poetry production of the East Haddam Stage Company, 2008. Blank is currently writing a long poem in rhyming, iambic pentameter, four line stanzas about the Irish mythical hero, Cuchulain. Check out more of her work at

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