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A Recipe for a Haiku

What’s the recipe for a Haiku?

I’ll get to that. But in the mean time, our new kitchen. It’s almost finished. There are little things to be done, like painting plaster patches and adding pulls to the cupboard doors. But other than that, all that’s left to do is move in. We simply have to walk the glasses, food, forks and knives from the old, little kitchen in the back of the house into the new kitchen into what was once our dining room.

It shouldn’t be so hard. I watch as my husband pulls a pot from the old kitchen and places it on the new cooktop. He’s home for lunch – a rare thing on a work day – just so he can christen the space. He opens a can of his favourite standby – beans, the tomato kind from England, not the molasses flavour from these parts. He places our little cast iron pan on another burner, fires it up then walks back to the old kitchen. A minute later he returns with a tray of olive oil, sea salt and our pepper grinder. And sriracha. Always sriracha. He drizzles the hot pan with olive oil and cracks an egg onto the slick surface.

He spoons hot beans onto a plate. The fried egg is placed beside the beans, then he cracks the pepper on top. He crunches sea salt between his fingers and gives the fried egg a lightening bolt of sriracha, Ziggy Stardust style. He’s so happy.

I sit there, soaking up his happiness, immobile.

That night I read Dog Man to my seven year old. It’s hilarious – the best and worst way to practise reading. But in the silliness was a haiku, a 5 / 7 / 5 -syllabled Japanese style poem about a half dog, half man cartoon police officer.

Rex came up with this:

I like Japanese
noodles with soy sauce
or tomato sauce

Then it was my turn. I thought of our new kitchen, built into what was once our dining room. I thought of our old kitchen, which someday soon we’ll tear out and turn into a simple dining room. A place with gorgeous light. A place that used to have a washer, dryer, counter, fridge, stove, cupboards and a shelf for cookbooks, a table and four chairs, plus room for one more chair that we dragged in at supper time. A squished room of sweet memories.

I am an old fish
the gate opens, I circle
in captivity

My old kitchen of course isn’t captivity. But I feel that familiar comfort, swimming in a circle of an old space, a space too old for our family to ruin.

I’ll swim out. I move into that glorious new space. I’ll love it. I try not to question my choices, or worry about the cost. I just need to circle a few more times.

PS – It’s the fleeting garlic scape season here in Nova Scotia. They’re gorgeous in a bouquet, or wrapped around your son’s wrist as jewelry, or in pesto. This is my go-to recipe.