Sami Aksu

Excerpts From The Kitchen Table

Like Sandra Cisneros, I love to write at my kitchen table. It is the most comforting room in the house. I remember so many happy times here: 

Teaching myself how to cook, watching my mother cook, watching my aunties cook, and cooking with my friends. Catching up with old friends, laughing over the stories of our lives. Blowing out birthday candles, taking pictures. Kneading dough to bake bread, filling cake pans with batter. Art projects and science project boards, English essays, and math homework. The kitchen table has seen it all.

Ate Ayette preparing Filipino spaghetti, my favorite dish in the world. Julie making me an omelet with onions, tomatoes, and cheese. Sabah making French toast for all of the girls at my sleepover. I am making lumpia for the new boy at work. I am 14 baking a birthday cake for a boy who broke my heart. 

The kitchen table has seen its share of bad times as well. So many times I have cried over a boy while the cat was comforting me. Then we all cried over my mother who just died. And later on, fights with my father who just doesn’t understand me. 

I have spent so much time carving my name and my mistakes into the kitchen table with pens and pencils and Crayola markers. So many people (and animals) who were once at this table have come and gone. I have written so many poems, stories, and journal entries in the dead of night, early morning hours, and twilight hours at this table that supports me faithfully still. I love that the sun shines upon it at all hours of the day. It has heard secrets long forgotten and will never repeat them again. It has celebrated countless holidays and withstood my family’s catastrophes. This kitchen table is a part of my family’s history and it should be celebrated indefinitely.