Fay washes rice in the dumpling bowl,
An heirloom from her mother that some day,
despite the chipped enamel,
She’ll present to one of her children.
She washes rice in the dumpling bowl,
her brown fingers scoop and rise water glazed,
like five dolphins,
above the speckles of white foam.
A watcher may wonder, why bother?
for no one, not even Delia does that,
but Fay washes rice through
the memories of her island’s history.
The tricks of thieves were there
not long ago.
who could get the weevils out,
Who could get stones out,
Rice could never be clean,
Without three washes.
She know today’s rice is not impure,
knows all choices are hers;
so she does it as homage to a tradition,
takes pleasure in using the bowl and hopes
the lack of starch will make her slim.