Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lynn Powell: "Acceptance Speech"

The radio's replaying last night's winners
and the gratitude of the glamorous,
everyone thanking everybody for making everything
so possible, until I want to shush
the faucet, dry my hands, join in right here
at the cluttered podium of the sink, and thank

my mother for teaching me the true meaning of okra,
my children for putting back the growl in hunger,
my husband, primo uomo of dinner, for not
begrudging me this starring role—

without all of them, I know this soup
would not be here tonight.

And let me just add that I could not
have made it without the marrow bone, that blood—
brother to the broth, and the tomatoes
who opened up their hearts, and the self-effacing limas,
the blonde sorority of corn, the cayenne
and oregano who dashed in
in the nick of time.

Special thanks, as always, to the salt—
you know who you are—and to the knife,
who revealed the ripe beneath the rind,
the clean truth underneath the dirty peel.

—I hope I've not forgotten anyone—
oh, yes, to the celery and the parsnip,
those bit players only there to swell the scene,
let me just say: sometimes I know exactly how you feel.

But not tonight, not when it's all
coming to something and the heat is on and
I'm basking in another round
of blue applause.

"Acceptance Speech" by Lynn Powell, from The Zones of Paradise. © University of Akron Press, 2003.

Image credit: "The Kitchen Queen," sketch by Brigitte Liem (originally black and white).



  1. what does the ending mean i dont understand.

    1. She imagines she is being applaused for her hard work making dinner - but in fact nobody shows her any gratitude whatsoever.

  2. I heard this poem on a favorite radio station ( ckua)at 5am...made me smile and I heard my 90 yr old mom chuckle when she read it 😂...thanks 😂


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