Chloe Yelena Miller
Baking with my child
The joke is I never
follow the instructions. Me, the mom!
I don’t bring the eggs or butter to room temperature
or separate the dry and wet ingredients.
He’s learning to bake with me, despite me.
He reads instructions, stumbles over fractions,
laughs when I jump ahead, skip steps.
He wants to try cracking the egg. He tightens
his grip on the white egg,
fist already bigger than that egg.
The egg explodes across the kitchen
narrow enough that all of the walls are speckled
with at least a drop of white or yolk.
We laugh the kind of laugh
that feels like no one is left not laughing, near or far
from this kitchen.
His laugh reminds me of when he was even smaller,
refusing to sleep. When he’d play peekaboo
with smaller hands, fingers wide apart so he could still see,
standing up in a fleece onesie.
It might be the same laugh, years from now,
shared with a beloved.
I miss this child already.
He opens the cabinet, pulls out the cinnamon,
chocolate chips. He’s done following the instructions,
he wants to make this dessert special
with everything extra.
I let him read the next numbered step
which doesn’t mention a potholder,
but I pass it to him anyway.
Chloe Yelena Miller’s poetry collection, Viable, was published by Lily Poetry Review Books (2021). Miller is a recipient of a 2020 and 2022 DC Arts and Humanities Fellowship (Individuals) grant. She teaches writing at American University, University of Maryland Global Campus and Politics & Prose Bookstore, as well as privately. Contact her and read some of her work at www.chloeyelenamiller.com / https://twitter.com/ChloeYMiller