No Chitchat
by Barbara Ann Smith


Ice jackets the windowpanes,
water in the teapot is frozen.
Mother stands in the kitchen,
tosses coal into the stove.
Square pearl buttons show off
her hand-knitted sweater.

Reddish hair juts from her hair net.
Green eyes flicker like marbles
as she greases an iron skillet;
cuts a slab of bacon and cracks the eggs.
I delight in her charismatic grin,
freckles and rosy skin.

Bite my lip to keep from chattering.
Utterances are short and direct,
it's to early for a chitchat.
Her days are full of sewing and washing clothes;
no breaks until bedtime.
The family is her gems.

Ice on the glass begins to melt,
forming palaces, ice ponds, dancing skaters,
and Mother in a satin robe
demanding eggs over-easy
as she adjust her crown.






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