The Ingredients of Us (Hour 9)

The ingredients of us are never
exact measurements. Just thrown together at will
and upon necessity, combined with hopeful efforts
that something worthy will become of our mixing.

A dash of words chosen for us, to define us,
to spend our young adult lives trying to unshackle
from whom we had grown into.
A splash of distant mother, a shake of detached father,
a pinch of childhood ending too soon.
A handful of home that felt unsafe,
and a generous amount of life’s imperfections.

The ingredients of us are the most delicious parts,
each tantalizing on its own, spoon-licking trauma
nurtured by an unrelenting hand. Swirled together
in an heirloom bowl, passed down from one generation
to the next, wherein each was created the meal of their own making,
every part a distinguishing feature of a repeating recipe.

And in our time we took the bowl, added to it
the secrets of our families’ history,
mixed equal portions of good and bad
until our story became a creation of both.
And now we eat this bread we inherited.
This bread we contributed to, changed slightly,
and will pass on to our children,
in the same mixing bowl, still holding all the cracks of the past,
and some new, as evidence of our use.

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