Making Cookies at the Counter

Six years old and I’m standing at the edge  

Of the counter, standing on a chair, my feet

Raised to the tip toes, peering into the bowl

In front of me, the wooden spoon in my hands

(It was longer than my own arms) smoothing

The first layer of sugar and vanilla into batter .


My grandfather took the whisk, stirred the batter,

Gave me a bag of chocolate I poured over the edge

Of the bowl, then I watched as he smoothed

And stirred so forcefully flour fell on his foot.

He pinched a little taste and put some in my hand,

Even though I had been sneaking from the bowl


For quite some time. I would steal from the bowl

Quick spoonfuls, stolen bites of cookie batter,

And it wasn’t until a glop fell onto my hand

That my grandfather lifted me off of the edge

Of the counter and placed my floured feet

On the ground. He greased the baking sheet smooth.


With no one to ruin the even smoothness

of the cookie mix sitting inside the blue bowl,

Soon little mounds lined up in rows, four  feet

Of little cookie dough balls, then watched the batter

Sink and rise, my pressed my nose against the oven edge

and waited until I could hold  in my hand.


Twenty minutes later, cookie in (both) hands,

We both sat on the couch, and my cheek felt smooth

Against the leather armrest of the sofa’s edge.

After two batches we had taken spoons to the bowl,

while my grandmother shook her head, ate batter

In gulps and spoonfuls. The footrest held our feet


And my grandmother joked about the number of feet

We would add to our waistline. I lifted my hand

To my stomach and regretted all the batter

I had stolen earlier. My grandfather’s smooth

Face was pale, regretting the amount taken from the bowl.

My grandma saw us, laughed, stretching her mouth’s edge.


She held the counter’s edge,

Her knuckles red and white against the smoothness

Of the granite, and she picked up the spoon from the bowl.


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