What Is It About Two Little Ears—


Fashioned with batter and love,

by hand and without symmetry—

that can completely undo me

to this day?


What is it about the way you sliced bananas 

and stirred in chocolate chips

and let me lick the bowl and spoon,

that leaves me feeling wistful?


What is it about the memory of those pancakes—

from the sweet smell that suffused our home

to the sizzle of the griddle—

that fills me with the kind of warmth 

only rivaled by the hot butter between stacks? 


Despite your long, tired face

and your hard, calloused feet—

you flipped the script 

on weekend mornings, Mom:

serving us flapjacks the Debbie-way: 

with Mickey Mouse ears, 

real syrup, 

and a smile. 


Melissa Greenwood, who writes both CNF and poetry, has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She has been published—both under her real and pen name—in Brevity; Lunch Ticket; Annotation Nation; The Los Angeles Review; the Los Angeles Review of Books; Meow Meow Pow Pow, where her flash piece was nominated for a best small fiction award; the Pup Pup Blog; The Manifest-Station; Poke; Neuro LogicalThe ErozineMoment Mag; Sledgehammer Lit; Screenshot Lit; Pink Plastic House; and forthcoming in HOOT’s Cookbook Anthology and Potato Soup Journal. She lives in LA with her Canadian husband and—when she's not reading, writing, or singing—teaches and practices Pilates. Fun fact: Her semi-retired caterer mother (the subject of the above poem) is sometimes even a student in her classes, working off the chocolate chip pancakes of yore.