Jo’s Kitchen: Open Twenty-Four Hours

For Grandma Josephine

The door swings open with ease
and I am greeted by the familiar scent of
marinara sauce
bubbling on the stove.

I inhale deeply,
as the sweet fragrance fills my lungs
until they feel they may
and then exhale slowly,
attempting to
savor the scent for just a moment

Frozen in the doorway,
the low sizzling of eggplant fills my
and I close my
and imagine the grease popping out of the frying pan
with each flip of the spatula.

Garlic wafts over me and
spreads to the tips of my fingers,
my pinky toes,
and the baby hairs on the back of my neck.
Suddenly, I am moved from my
heavenly stupor and
float effortlessly among the aromas toward the kitchen.
With each breath,
the temperature raises a degree and
I gently land beside the stove.

Twinkling green eyes peer
through whisps of white hair
to look at me.
A sweet smile spreads across her small face
as her hand extends for a slice of
Italian bread
and places it in mine.