Katelyn Botsford Tucker


We ate sliced tomatoes with olive oil
from a plate in the center of a glass table

where my grandmother sat to my left
and my mother sat to my right

and the tiny, black-and-white TV
salt-and-peppered our dinner

with the five o’clock news.
Today it’s sautéed heirlooms

and thinly sliced garlic
over ricotta on toast, and

I think I’m very grown. The
knife I use is so sharp and I

would never have been allowed
to use such a tool as a child.

Of course, washing dishes
it slips from my hand,

and the blade meets the webbing
between my thumb and pointer finger

at just the right angle to slice through 
and I feel the sting radiate

and I don’t know whether or not
that scar will heal.

And whether or not
tomatoes were a delicacy,

or we were just poor, savoring a bit of
blood around a table.

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Katelyn Botsford Tucker is a teacher and writer. She paints, is often caffeinated, and absolutely terrified of outer space.