Maria Mazziotti Gillan was once again the featured poet on The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Her poem, "My Mother Was a Brilliant Cook," is from her new collection, What Blooms in Winter (NYQ Books, 2016).
You can hear Keillor's reading on the website.
My Mother Was a Brilliant Cook
The first time my mother went out
to eat was on her 25th wedding anniversary
at Scordato’s in Paterson, and the second time
was for her 50th anniversary
at the Iron Kettle House in Wyckoff.
My mother said, “I could have cooked
this meal better myself.”
But I knew she was happy,
though she would have never admitted it.
Once my mother came to Paterson
from Italy in steerage,
she was content to stay there.
She was a brilliant cook,
and didn’t need to go to restaurants.
She loved her house, poor as it was,
and never stayed in a motel or took a vacation
or wanted to.
She was content to offer platter after platter
of food to her family gathered
in her basement kitchen, and to watch them
laughing and talking together,
while she stood behind them
by Maria Mazziotti Gillian,
Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the author of twenty-one books. Her latest publications are the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets and the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter. Maria's official website is at MariaGillan.com.