First guest blogger is Sarah Kucharski, who grew up here in our mountains, attending Smoky Mountain High School. Sarah is, despite her last name, a born and raised Southerner. Her writing has earned awards from the South and North Carolina Press Associations, as well as the National Newspaper Association. In her spare time she is pursuing a master’s of liberal arts degree. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and is completing her master’s at UNC-Greensboro. You can find more about Sarah at her own blog.
Recently she has translated her skills to the teaching profession. Her work as a remedial English instructor aims to enable students to communicate effectively and inspire them to pick up a book by choice on occasion. Kucharski lives in Canton, North Carolina with her husband, Travis, three cats — Atlas, Nelson and Penelope — and hound dog, Bruce.
Sarah's poem took me right back to my childhood place in the kitchen, peach juice running down my chin, summer ripe as the peach in my hand. This poem, by the way, is for her mother, pictured above.
standing over the kitchen sink,
knife gently held in my right hand,
summer ripe peach in my left,
I score the fruit through its middle,
blade slicing along the cleft
through sweet flesh down to the rough pit.
halves separate and stone removes,
sticky palm cradles quarters cut
towards my thumb, pushing against steel,
skinning the prize brought to my lips
taken from between edge and thumb
in assured and fluid motion.
I think mostly of my mother
her hands taught me, her mother hers,
this movement born of hearth cooking,
potatoes, tomatoes, onions
sliced straight into heavy stock pots
heated by wood or coal stoves.
we talk not of food but through it,
beef stew and potato pancakes,
sliced strawberries, little green peas,
nourishing love with nourishment
our kitchens are never lonely
for we will never be alone
standing over the kitchen sink eating peaches.