The Noodle Factory

While kneading

purple playdough

On my kitchen floor

 

I attempt to shape

My ugly purple blob

 

Willing it to look like  

Grandmother’s beautiful

thin noodles

 

Grandma smiles and laughs

When I show her my creation.

 

She engulfs them with her hands

And begins to mold them.

I’m intrigued by her old crinkled hands

I absorb their misshapen monstrosity

And bask in their gnarled features.

 

Why are your veins so purple?

 

It’s because I used to smoke.

 

But Dad smokes and his hands don’t look like that.

 

Nobody smokes like I used to smoke.

 

How did you used to smoke?

 

I smoked three packs every day:

One before work

Two after.

 

Oh

 

I continue my keading

But this time around

The dough seems a little bit thicker

A little bit heavier.

 

Why are you so good at this?

 

Her noodles are perfect

each one that emerges from her hands

is thinner

Prettier

Than the one before.

 

I used to work in a noodle factory,

All we did was kneed dough.

 

You did?

 

Yes.

 

Is that why your fingers are always bent?

Is that why you can’t flex them?

 

Yes.

 

I look at my grandma with solemn eyes.

She smiles back

Her deep wrinkles framing her

Small graceful face

 

It’s okay. She says.

She looks at peace

 

I turn around to get more playdough

When I face her again

 

I see a tired young woman

Hands white with flour

Back hunched over a mountain of dough

Anxious to fulfill the day’s quota

 

Wishing more than anything in the world

For the end of the day

And a long, slow drag

On a cigarette.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s