Tryphena Yeboah

My Mother-In-Law Asks Me to Cook

Fried eggs-
That’s all she asks for.
First, I turn off the TV set
No one needs the weather forecast any way
It rains when it’s supposed to shine
and we hardly see the flood until we’re drowning in it
I lift my body from the couch
like a disaster waiting to happen

I do not feel my legs move to the kitchen
But somehow I make it there just fine
I switch on the lights
No one has to tell me it’s nine in the morning
And there’s enough sunlight to guide me around

But who knows-
Maybe the knife is hiding somewhere I can’t see
Maybe I myself am the darkness
I grab an apron from the back of the door
and throw it over my head
The worst kind of accidents are the ones you prepare for
Who knows-
The eggs might slip through my fingers
and fall, making a splash, making an announcement
This lady is lost
(And I wouldn’t be able to deny it)

I have questions:
Do you want tomatoes and did you ever approve of me?
How do you like the onions chopped and am I not good enough for your son?
How much salt would you like and what are you doing in our home
on our third year anniversary?

I turn the fire low and watch the eggs fry;
Half hoping it burns, half hoping it comes
out of the pan tasting like a second heaven;
making an impression, making an announcement-
This lady is found (and loved) by no one else but your son
And you wouldn’t be able to stop it (even if you tried)


Tryphena Yeboah recently completed a Masters program in Development Communication at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. She is currently working as a Creative Writing Teaching Assistant.

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