Monday, October 22, 2007


Grandma’s Kitchen

My wife won’t stop
for mom and pop restaurants,
but rather enjoys the consistency,
the glossy, dim-lit sterility
of Outback and Applebee’s.

One cold Christmas day,
traveling back from my folks,
the only sit-down place open
for miles in any direction
was Grandma’s Kitchen.

A little barn-framed building,
next to a truck stop where
the pavement ended in ruts
and the air was chicken-fried.
I was ready to claim my stake.

“She’s not my Grandma,”
my wife said with upturned brow,
“probably some sweaty cook
dropping ashes in the French fries,
scratching himself with a spatula.”

I just looked solemnly out the window,
thought of corn bread and beans
and the coffee I was about to receive.
While she drove away in my truck, I thought,
she must not be that hungry.


Rebel Fan said...

Nice! My SIL is a French-trained chef, but raised in the Blue Ridge. I taught him to make cornbread my way. It's the biggest seller in his resturant.

Anonymous said...

Cool poem. Just where might I find that Grandma's Kitchen?

David Wayne Hampton: said...

Thank you. My wife saw this poem laying out on my desk while I was working on it one day, and said, "Hey! This poem's about me!" I said to her, "No it's not. Don't assume all poetry is autobiographical to the poet." Then she gave me a playful sneer and said, "Yeah it is. I remember saying that!" In truth, I can't remember what the actual name of the restaurant was (seeing this wasn't the first time my wife refused to patronage a place), but I remember one of them was off one of the Elkin exits along I-77 in North Carolina. And my wife didn't leave me at the restaurant, but she said she should have, considering what a fuss I made about wanting to eat there. I dejectedly ended up eating a stick of beef jerky from a gas station, until we got home. All I can say is the stomach wants what the stomach wants!