after my adoption was finalized i spent lots of weekend and summer afternoons in the warm glow of a shiny green and gold kitchen two houses down from the rosens. a friendly young girl named jodi lived there with her younger brother, matt and their beloved family dachshund. there were a couple years between matt and jodi but they shared the same deep golden blonde hair and easy, mischievous smile. jodi and matt’s parents were both kind, hard working brunettes who tended toward reserved and their father was down right shy. it was clear they really loved each other though and i remember knowing that even as i rarely saw them together. the home they’d built was inside a modest cape at the top of our street. they kept it clean and orderly and decorated with pineapples. tiny crowned fruit covered their living room couch cushions and wallpapered their kitchen walls, the trinket shelves in their finished basement den. each one, tall and sure, a silent welcome, ‘hello!’ ‘come in!’ ‘have you eaten?’ jodi’s mother was joan, and she reminded me of crawford; she wore nail polish and shiny red lipstick, her own scent of perfume. she worked nights away from the home, but by day she poured us fruity tinned juicy juice and handfuls of cape cod potato chips beside fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. she did it all with such ease and grace and what felt like genuine desire that i was convinced the secret to a happy family union lived right there, in the deep fortune cookie folds of the salty kettle cooked chips. i wished feverishly to spend some of every day there, in that brimming, beautiful kitchen where no one ever went hungry or left the water running.

this piece of prose poetry came together over the writing prompt ‘write around something’ or ‘what’s missing’ it’s part of a bigger project i’m working on about the many homes and families i experienced in my childhood, post adoption.

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