Poem: Sunday Morning Ritual

This poem, by Pat D’Alessandro, winner of the 1975 California Writer’s Poetry Award, has appeared in NETWORKS (Vortex Editing, 1979) as well as numerous other journals.

I look at my hands and remember

how she mounded the flour on the kitchen table
with her peasant hands
cracked the eggs
one by one
and counted
“una, due, tre, quattro,
cinque, sei, sette, otto”

filling the well she channeled down the middle
and gently beat the eggs to yellow
with her hands

how she kneaded the flour, yolks and whites
until they blended and shaped and formed
a golden ball

how she rubbed it smooth with olive oil
and rolled the ball across the table
and patted it flat with a wooden pole
so that it stretched and stretched
out from the golden ball
covering the table
as if by magic to become
a flour-dusted flat and yellow sheet
that hung
between the chairs for drying
and cutting
with a rippled metal wheel

how the egg noodles lay to dry

until she took them
and gathered them
in her strong, floured hands
to drop
and boil
in a chicken broth
to feed her ten

I look at my hands

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