By: Derek Otsuji
On cold mornings like this, she boiled soup stock
from the little silver anchovies called
iriko, sliced winter radish into
translucent half moons, cut a tofu block
into small marble cubes, and gently mashed
in the miso paste to thicken the broth.
On lucky days there’d be a whole poached egg
in each bowl, green onion for garnishing.
Curling phantoms bloomed in winter’s kitchen,
summoning warm bodies round the table,
the legs of wooden chairs scraping linoleum
while cupboard doors on musical hinges
opened, closed and the setting was complete.
It’s to this memory the hunger comes home.