Women gather in the kitchen
lots of chatter as they greet and hug.
Cousins giggle and dart underfoot
before they’re put in place with a firm tug.
Baba dusts off aprons, Aunty sharpens knives.
Mama orchestrates a sizzling bacon two-step, crisp and precise.
It’s like a kitchen polka where busy hands mince and chop,
links of kielbasa fall in unison, all the perfect size.
Pickled rich with dill and garlic
cellar jars of ogorki-kisome they bring;
use only those smaller than a finger
for a tiny, green appetizer zinger.
Sour cabbage mellows, rolls just right,
“pigs in a blanket” tradition wrapped up tight,
timed to explode flavour with the first bite.
Holubsti! Holubsti! children lick their lips,
women grease the pans. They sculpt savoury treats
to fill colourful plates for the feast.
Baba’s stories bake deep in the oven
Aunty prods, she pokes and tastes.
Mama’s laughter bubbles high,
she makes sure nothing goes to waste.
The table is set with fine china,
crystal rainbows arc cloth from a loom.
Steaming recipes from the old country
piggyback newlywed wishes into the room.