Skip to main content

The Altar in the Kitchen, a poem by Norbert Krapf

The Altar in the Kitchen
by Norbert Krapf

The pink carcasses of rabbits
and fox squirrels shrivel in pans
of salted water in the sink.

Sometimes cleaned bluegill,
sunfish, or catfish settle
in round bowls of water.

Baking pans of rhubarb,
blackberry and apple cobbler
cool on the north window sill.

Ball jars of peaches jiggle
in boiling water on the stove
to winter in the cellar.

The kitchen is our Grand Central,
the table our stark altar,
and the priest, the farm girl

who gave birth to us, feeds us,
nurses us back to health,
prays over us in storms.

Bio: Norbert Krapf, a Jasper, Indiana, native, was Indiana Poet Laureate 2008-10, received a Glick Indiana Author Award 2014 (Regional), and held a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis 2011-12 to combine poetry and the blues. His latest of 11 poetry collections is Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet's Journal of Healing (ACTA Publications, In Extenso Imprint, 2015). He collaborates with bluesman Gordon Bonham.