The Kitchen Table by Andy Cofino (Spoken Word Poem)

My grandma used to make Italian pound
cake. The kitchen would smell like lemon and bellyache. The taste would be like
right before your first heartbreak, nothing would ever feel anything better.
Every bite like opening up a love letter. For us, the kitchen table is a sacred
place. it’s where healing and food’s where my great grandmother would cure the evil eye with water and oils of purify.
For us, the kitchen is where the spirit meets the soul, where the body can become
whole with the earth. I was born with my great-grandmother’s name in the middle
of mine, like a sign she’d be back in this lifetime. I carry her spirit in my
blood like a lifeline, reminded me I come from a bloodline of Italian women that
can travel through time– send omens through dreams, cure anxiety
through remedies, pass down recipes like sacred memories. When I mix water into water, I can feel the histories of all the ancestors before me, serving
bread the patron saints like gifting deities, reminding me my food is a
revery to keep alive of my family’s memory. When my mom makes Sunday gravy,
she heals the whole family, it’s sustained us for centuries. My grandfather was a
grocer, the son of a farmer men, men who understood food as martyr. For us, the
kitchen table is a sacred place. It reminds us we come from someplace where lemons
are blessed by the sun and almonds kissed by the sea, mountains high and full of
olive trees, where my spirit takes me over a plate of homemade ravioli. For us,
the fried dough at a church festival is a throwback to what was once not
plentiful. It’s a reminder of our family members at confessional praying for
fruit and vegetable. My mother taught me to cook with good olive oil and fresh
bread, and in her teaching, I learned what was not said. That these meals we’ve kept
for every generation our part magic part, veneration. That there’s a reason we cry
with onion and cure with oil—that which sustains us comes from the same soil
that gives us life and grants us air. And when we prepare a meal with grace, it can
send us back to our birthplace. When I bake my grandmother’s pound cake, I can
feel the flesh of my great-grandfather’s handshake, years spent in the field in
the garden, palms hardened by the stinging of field work and the softness
of grandma’s housework. And when I sit down to eat, they all sit down beside me
like a timetable, taking us back to Sicily or Naples, where the healing lives
on in our family table. Thanks so much for watching my poem, “The kitchen Table.”
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave some comments below and hit the Like
button. Thanks so much.

2 thoughts on “The Kitchen Table by Andy Cofino (Spoken Word Poem)

  1. "In her teaching I heard what was not said …" That stanza that followed was amazing. I loved the way how you showed that food was the thread that created a connection between generations. I liked how you made food a synonym for love.This was really well written and nicely performed.

  2. Andy – I just saw the pictures. wow – beautiful women and men of back in the day as I remember them. Thx for introducing them to all of us not only in words but a visual as well.

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