She asked me to put the kettle on. I hopped up, grabbed the generous arc over its copper-shine body, lit the gas. The noise was a wheeze I stayed to hear. The breeze increased and a magnificent apple-green flame I’d never seen, shot from the spout and flickered. It was a colour I wanted to wear in crisp light cotton to counter the heat of our long humid summers. Suddenly the spout fell off. What? I thought and stopped the gas. I lifted the lid and saw how I’d failed to check on the water inside, how there was none, how her keepsake kettle was done for and so was I.
Feature image: Mildred Ford, Tea Kettle, c. 1936, NGA
Listen to Kathryn read the poem