When mama’s in the kitchen
making biscuits, cake, or bread,
or even simple cookies,
I mind each word she says;
We both put on our aprons
that mama sewed herself,
she sends me to the pantry
to fetch things from the shelf.
From the well I tote in water,
and eggs from the chicken coop,
I fetch kindling from the woodpile,
Mama says we’ll make some soup.
She kills a hen no longer laying,
with a quick twist of its neck,
And sets me to plucking out the feathers,
I am good at this, by heck,
From the garden mama fetches
parsley, carrots and beans,
from the cellar pa brings taters,
the finest ones he’s seen.
When the chicken’s cooking
in a big pot on the stove,
ma sets to mixing things
to make bread, several loaves,
She bakes bread in a roasting pan,
It rises light and brown,
and with a bit of butter,
a crust is mighty fine.
By suppertime we’re eating,
hot chicken soup and bread,
and with a glass of cold milk,
You know that you’ve been fed.
Sandra Lee Smith
Originally posted June 6, 2010,
Updated in An American Childhood
September 2, 2018