Anne Sexton

(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974 / Newton, Massachusetts)

The Fury Of Cooks


Herbs, garlic,
cheese, please let me in!
Souffles, salad,
Parker House rolls,
please let me in!
Cook Helen,
why are you so cross,
why is your kitchen verboten?
Couldn't you just teach me
to bake a potato,
to bake a potato,
that charm,
that young prince?
No! No!
This is my county!
You shout silently.
Couldn't you just show me
the gravy. How you drill it out
of the stomach of that bird?
Helen, Helen,
let me in,
let me feel the flour,
is it blinding and frightening,
this stuff that makes cakes?
Helen, Helen,
the kitchen is your dog
and you pat it
and love it
and keep it clean.
But all these things,
all these dishes of things
come through the swinging door
and I don't know from where?
Give me some tomato aspic, Helen!
I don't want to be alone.

Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010
Edited: Thursday, November 10, 2011

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