KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 11: Spring 2019
Poem: 172 words

Nana in Deep Freeze

by Nan Rubin

In the swirling vapor 
of her freezer 
I imagine Nana 
a few inches tall 
standing in the corner 
covered in freezer burn. 
She tells me no one loved her, 
only the meals she cooked 
and stashed in the freezer 
for them. That’s all anyone 
will talk about at my funeral, 
she said. 

I imagine her version of love: 
hours rolling out noodle dough, 
chopping onions, eyes tearing, 
sweeping the floor after 
each meal she cooked and served 
every day of married life 
to a plumber who fixed 
other people’s pipes and leaks, 
failed to hug her unless 
someone told him to. 

Whatever came out of that 
freezer was culinary gold: 
rugelach pastries the size 
of a man’s thumb, 
sweet and sour meatballs 
spiked with gingersnap cookies, 
chicken soup with parsnip and dill, 
a narcotic up your nose. 

In life, I gave her 
my version of love, lifting 
her arms to encircle me, 
folding mine around her; 
bosom to bosom, we’d laugh 
until she softened 
like a cooked noodle. 


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