Pancakes From Scratch
Kimberly Thornton

My mom said she craved

pancakes while she was pregnant,

she’d make them for dinner

almost every night, my dad never

raised a brow, he liked sweet things.

I don’t remember my first pancake

in or out the womb,

but I remember

the butter melting

into the browned flat cakes

at age 5, and the sweet toasty taste

that flooded between my tongue

and the roof of my mouth.

Can I have pancakes? 

I would ask,

always my only question.

Of course they would be given

when it was all I ate for days.

Mom was a baker, dad was a chef,

And I was a protester young,

demanding breakfast at 6pm.

But only pancakes.

I watched mom measure the flour,

spill some on the floor,

and carefully crack an egg.

I’d watch her watch

the batter bubble,

whispering that it’s cooked

on its flat side.

The extra ingredient

must have been something like love.

When did she stop?

Friends thought my dad

was the King of Potatoes.

Every summer at home

you could swim in our pool,

float to the jazz station,

and he’d bring out fries,

homemade, deep fried, salted.

But never amber syrup and golden cakes.

I started cooking

as soon as I understood

the word food

meant I love you.

All I could give was the comfort

of those warm fluffy cakes,

my little hands

using measuring spoons:

dark sienna cinnamon spice

and shiny chocolate chips

were added freely,

the sugar batter

kindly poured

into soft circles on the pan.

I adored each as it rose

to fluffy perfection.

Kimberly Thornton is an editor with a degree in sociology. She’s interested in the use of storytelling to teach and motivate curious minds. Her poetry has been published in Carve Magazine and with Crones Counsel. When she’s not reading and analyzing stories, find her making or admiring art. She’s currently working on living a slow life in Arizona.

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