35mm by Em Norton


the next time i take you to my parents’ house     it’s better            we leave the catholics out of it and i am at least three quarters  of a person      mom cooks & cooks  hot chicken wings & honey garlic  my sister’s   favourite      a ham   your request     & a cauliflower salad that features a teaspoon of sugar  cheddar cheese  & crumbled bacon       country dinner              you taste where i’m from    the brownies thick with icing   the carrot cake too     i’m reminded of the abundance  in my childhood        the things that kept me full    the reasons  i love to bake   turn vegetables into loaves & muffins  watching  for that first bite     the sweetness swallowed   

                                            sometimes mom sits down   though not for long before something needs to be taken out of the freezer     or the dog wants to come back inside       or she pulls things from drawers to say here, take this home     she knows i have a different one now  & this is how she says it’s okay    to be separate  from her      i  take our old digital camera    she knows i’m getting into film   she likes my little interests         how they fill me    taking photos of my brother on the couch     the dog in the fresh snow   or mom    holding a knife   carving our dinner   a shiny  full smile    every time i leave    i hope  she loves me the next time   i come back      every time i leave overflow                       leftovers    remnants                reclaimed  items          things we’ve both held in our hands        big       slender      knife wielding     

Em Norton is a poet from Toronto. You can find Em on Twitter @_emnorton and read more at patreon.com/emnortonwrites.