by Sonia Beauchamp
We never argued when making dumplings for soup.
When rain blanketed the pine trees in gray mist
and chicken broth simmered shrouds of steam,
I stood tiptoed on the wooden stool with uneven legs.
Irregular seconds beat across the kitchen floor.
My mother made her dumplings just right.
A teaspoon measured each scoop of ground pork.
Chopped bamboo and water chestnuts gave it a crunch.
She sealed her wrappers with a dab of water,
eyes squinted to match each bindle-shaped corner.
My wontons always fell apart—
dead little fish spilling their guts into our perfect bowl of soup.
My mother’s fingers were too busy making bindles,
far too busy to stop and point them at me.
We never argued when we made dumplings for soup.
Sonia Beauchamp (she/her) is a wellness advocate on the North Shore of Oahu. Her poetry can be found in Anomaly, Maudlin House, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. Find out more at www.soniakb.com.