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Wednesday, May 31, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

It came in the mail last week, pre-thanking him for his

donation to some charity or other. He threw out the

brochure but shoved the gadget in a drawer that held rusty

spatulas and soup ladles picked up at garage sales. He

remembers peeling carrots when he was eight or nine,

forced to help his mother make dinner. And his mother

showed him to always slide the blade away from himself,

then pointed out if he was standing at a low table he'd get

better leverage, and helped him put a band-aid on his

finger. You'll be cooking for yourself before you know it, his

mother said. You'll make some woman very, very happy.

More of a threat than a promise.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: