Cascade

Yesterday, while I stood in my kitchen,
deeply inhaling the steam
from the just-opened dishwasher,
that had, somehow,
transported me
into my grandmother’s kitchen,
I stared into the racks, breathing.
While my mind conjured the yellow tiles,
rock-patterned linoleum,
white metal cabinets,
and apricot preserves,
on a fresh Irish scone.

And in that moment,
I wondered. Somewhere,
in the whatever is Beyond,
was my grandmother also transported
on that blast of steam,
into my kitchen?

Could she smell the roast I made?
Could she see that we painted the kitchen yellow?
Did she notice her plate on the wall?

Nichole M. Dulin

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Monongahela

A man going about his day sweeps the length of the barge.
Pushing the coal dust back into piles.
Keeping the walkway safe and quietly moving up the river.
I’m happy to see him here.
He’s a constant in a world that has changed so much since it belonged to me.
In my mind he will be here always pushing the broom,
Sweeping my memories back into place forever.

Nichole M. Dulin

barge