Semolina – hour NINE

My mother couldn’t cook.

Her cream of wheat was always lumpy.

When I finally realized it was supposed to be smooth

I had already grown to love the lumps.


Butter, not sugar, allowed to melt into a savory

pool of yellow before stirring it in.

Oven door opened to heat up the kitchen on winter mornings.


In India, I eat upma — semolina lumpy because it is supposed to be.

Spices that make my eyes hurt and

my nose run, eaten in

cafes that smell of coffee and cardamom and sweat. Eaten in

a place oven hot.


Americans ask me, “Don’t you think upma is weird?”

Not at all, I say. Semolina should be sharp and not smooth, I tell them.

I wipe the sweat from my face.

My mom made it like this, I say.

It’s a cream of wheat lie that is white and lumpy.

One thought on “Semolina – hour NINE

  1. Excellent work! I like my cream of wheat lumpy, too! Fav lines ♡ pool of yellow and ♡ oven door opened to heat up the kitchen! I can smell the cafe and taste the semolina! Well done

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *