I’m assaulted by the screaming
in the kitchen
I rush to investigate.
Steam is rising from the sink
where my husband is soaking
my beloved red dishtowel
(the one with shamrock borders
because I am also Irish)
under the rushing water.
He looks up and drily says,
“For Pedro’s* first cooking experience
he burnt the dishtowel…”
My 15-year-old son protests—
“I did not!”
though the evidence is quite clear.
My husband was teaching my son
how to cook spaghetti.
The theory is we have to prepare
him for life after graduating
from our house.
To make the experience more palatable
to our teen who misuses the family
computer to look up pictures of big boobs
—my Amazon account nowadays
recommends pornography to me
as my son does his porn surfing
on book covers, so seriously
does the family unanimously
agree on the importance of reading—
my husband advised, “If you learn
to cook you may eventually get lucky.”
Our therapist observed that our son
may take longer than “normal”
to leave our household as he’s relishing how
someone—finally!—is taking care of him.
I laugh as my husband and my son
debate culinary incompetence.
I, for one, don’t mind as I am best
in the kitchen when unpacking
delivered Italian or Chinese meals.
Unlike my husband, I also relish
how my son prefers to cling to
cheerfully marsupial me
as it took me so many years
—five decades!—to hear
this word heard best when
a child is shrieking:
(Footnote *: “Pedro” is the moniker used by the poet’s son when he once tried to create a Facebook account without telling his parents. This poem is his Mama’s revenge.)
© Eileen R. Tabios