issue 8micro

Grandmother’s Kitchen

Madeleine Pelletier

Grandmother’s kitchen is a gathering place. Women turn their masks inside out, cluster round cooking pots, and offer prayers to birds. Mysterious acts create clarity. Crones wail like babes and babies give second chances. A shadow whispers secrets to the wind which swaddles us in warmth. In grandmother’s kitchen, power rises up on aromatic vapors.

Grandmother’s kitchen is a revolutionary place. Food transforms into authority. Time twists into sacred circles. A wayward moon peeks through the gate, a dim light, a faint threat, and the floor engraves upon herself the divine symbols. Demons who would tempt and sway crumble into red dust for the goat to sweep away and sprinkle into the sea. In grandmother’s kitchen, we are all alchemists.

Grandmother’s kitchen is a humbling place. The table bends under the weight of healing herbs and backwards glances, struggling to see a future. Garlic guards, cabbage unfolds, and onions and eggplants make priests faint. The walls reverberate with the rites of faith, the wisdom that kittens will someday roar. In grandmother’s kitchen, I am saved.


Madeleine Pelletier lives in an old farmhouse near Montreal, with three cats, six goats, and one grumpy old man. Her short fiction has appeared in The Arcanist, Blue Animal Lit, and WoW! Women on Writing among others. Follow her on Twitter @mad_pelletier.