Page 6 of 6
Kate Northrop’s first collection of poems, Back Through Interruption (Kent State University Press 2002) won the Stan and Tom Wick First Book Award. Her second collection, Things Are Disappearing Here (Persea Books 2007) was the runner-up for the James Laughlin Award and a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice. Her new collection, Clean, is forthcoming from Persea (April 2011). Northrop teaches in the MFA program at the University of Wyoming. (More information available at www.katenorthrop.com)
I love my mother. I clean out her fridge. By Kate Northrop
What stays I place on the counter: bottles of salad dressing, wiped clean; jars of mustards, one of mayonnaise, also cleaned; rolls of film; six-pack of low-fat yogurt; a jar of pickled okra, still unopened. Yeast packets, juice. Bottle of chardonnay. What goes goes into the sink: a blue plastic container, saving Bernaise (from the holiday) so old the surface cracks and fissures; a Ziploc, ripped, with cheese inside, a piece of Brie furred over in mold, a chunk of cheddar, its yellow edge darker and moving inward, like a shadow crossing a building. Oh Hallelujah, little garbage disposal. And the rest, it’s good-bye, good-bye, good riddance, into the trash: ancient tubes of anchovy paste, tomato paste, hardened into sculpture, the edges sharp enough to cut you; the butter’s crumpled wrapping; the package of demi-glace.
- << Prev