Chicken Noodle Soup

June 28, 2010
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When my mother died, I started hearing things. The pounding of a stereo was my mother’s high heels coming down wooden steps. The beating of a drum was her clapping her hands. The ba-BAM of a manhole cover rattling was her belly-shaking laugh.

When my mother died, I started to see things. The tail of that palomino was my mother’s lush hair. The grouping of fluffy white clouds was her pale hands reaching out to grasp mine. The bark on that tree was the perfect image of her face. Mom was everywhere.

Once, while sitting on a cracked wooden bench next to the playground, I smelled something, too. I sniffed the air so hard that the art teacher, who was on recess duty, came over. Putting a hand on my shoulder, she asked, “Is something wrong, honey? Do you need a tissue?”

“No!” I replied, astounded. “Don’t you smell it?” She raised her eyebrows and stared at me.

“Smell what, sweetie?” she asked, looking concerned.

“The soup, of course!” I declared, for it should have been obvious to even the most dim-witted people. “Do you know what my mommy is doing right now?” I saw my art teacher stiffen. Her eyes widened, her breath caught in her throat.

“Your--your mommy?” she asked, as though she were afraid of my answer.

“Yes! She’s making soup, of course! Do you know what kind?” My teacher shook her head. “Chicken noodle, silly! That was her favorite soup. Can’t you smell it?” My teacher sort of shook her head and nodded at the same time, so it seemed as though her head was going in circles.

“What’s in it?” she asked. What a silly question!

“Chicken and noodles and carrots and little pieces of celery!”

“Of course!” she said, nodding for real this time.

“She’s making it in a really big pot! A pot bigger than--bigger than the swing set!”

“Why?” asked the art teacher, sitting down on the bench beside me.

“Because she’s making it for Sparky, and Grampa, Grammy, Uncle Jimmy, Birdy, Spot, Jill, and Pookie.”

“Who?” she questioned, her eyebrows scrunching together.

“All of my pets and family that are up in heaven with Mommy. Don’t you smell it?”

“Yes, I do,” my art teacher said, and I could see that her hazel eyes were glistening with tears.





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redz14 said...
May 10, 2011 at 10:12 pm
I love this one. It's one of my favorites of yours. We can talk more about it some other time. Anyway, it's beautiful:D Love, ( o )
 
Xela97 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm
OH THIS SUCH AN ADORABLE PIECE  I LUV UR WORK SO MUCH!!!
 
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