The Frankfurt Kitchen

by Barbara Duffey

Barbara Duffey

—the first small, thin, unified-concept, mass-produced, fitted-cabinet kitchen

First, man had a
kitchen. For a
long time, it was
the only room.
It was bachelor
balm, it was stick-
stick-stock, it was
a family
sugar summer,
all nigh as God
when there are
just four walls. Then
after the war,
in its smoke-jack
world, there became
other, younger
rooms, and no room
for them there in
Germany. So
a lady made
a kitchen halved
like an oyster,
a kitchen cell,
a cook-alley.
There were many
and they purred right,
scarcely as wide
as a skillet.
Let us rejoice
in the spoon-space,
in the platter
cabinet, in the
tin-plate rice bin,
from the root, the
room, the roof, we
mouth our prayers in
their ample air,
standing by the
window in the
saucepan sun.

Painted Bride

Barbara Duffey's picture

Duffey, assistant professor of English at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell where she teaches creative writing, composition and literature courses, has written poetry for almost 25 years, since her fifth-grade instructor told the class to write similes., “He also had us write Mother’s Day poems to our mothers, ” Duffey said. “I actually think my mother still has the poem I wrote for her, Mother’s Day 1991. My parents were always supportive of my writing.”

Last updated December 24, 2014