Electric Stoves

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James Roper

Forgive me for signing the
lease with every intention
Of dragging you to the curb.
That was before I got to know
your quirks and charms:
How fast you bring water to
boil,
The tender warmth you wrap
around cakes,
Your secret code for communicating on and off.
Induction pales beside your
coiled crimson burners,
Which have hurled me back
40 years or more
To a kitchen my mom might
have ruled
And loathed, since she far
preferred gas to electric.
So what if the broiler cycles
with utter abandon;
You develop crusts with such
confidence
That now I trust you with my
expensive loins.
I've learned to tinker with
your nuanced knobs,
Searching for a less tempera-
mental temperature,
No longer caring that
Medium is implied.
As I gently line your drip pans
with foil,
Just like our mothers fit
dough into pie plates,
I can only admire your ability
to put food on the table.
And theirs.

Kerri Conan is a Lawrence, Kansas-based writer.