At six o’clock, glib comments start to fill the air.
We’re hungry for frittata, but the table’s bare.
Darkness fills the kitchen, for mama’s gone on strike.
She’s gone off to the city. Alone, on papa’s bike.
It’s dicey whether she’ll return. She says she’s tired of cooking.
She’s in need of a vacation and so she made a booking
at a posh hotel that has its own cafe
where she will dine on coq au vin followed by crème brûlée.
For once, serving the rest of us will not be her fate.
Someone else will wait on her and she’ll just sit and wait.
In the morning she will order service in her room
where she’ll not even make her bed or wield dust cloth or broom.
Her note says then she might come home, or she might just wait
and find a nice seaside resort where she can cogitate
for another day or two. She says we shouldn’t worry.
The pizza place delivers if we’re not in a hurry.
Her recipe book’s on the shelf. The stove is under it.
Her apron’s in the closet and she’s sure that it will fit
each and every one of us while she is on vacation.
She says that fending for ourselves will be an education.
She says to wash the dishes even though it is a bore,
for if she sees a messy kitchen when she walks in the door,
she’s going to walk right out again until we prove we’ve learned
that things will be real different after Mama has returned!