Rick Christiansen: “Anarchists in the Kitchen”

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Anarchists in the Kitchen

We searched for the can opener in all the usual places.

His rueful stare, when I unearthed a small Flintstone’s jelly glass, 
half full of expired lime-flavored Alka-Seltzer  tablets—
and the way he stitched his breath—when
he was thinking—alerted me to attend and wait
for his next thought
before opening the next drawer.

I noticed that the Flintstone glass was a rare one, with a faded and flaking image of Dino on it.
“Dino always freaked me out!”, he said, 
“I felt that having a dinosaur as a pet would be a crushing responsibility.”

I nodded and kept looking through drawers.

He watched me search as he plucked absently at the hair on his cheek.
I was running out of drawers and still no can opener.

He had the look of a visiting shaman,
who knows that 
he must serve as a reluctant muse.

“We are going to have to rethink this.”
He said.

I knew he had a gift for climbing inside of things and pushing outward.

I waited.

He held up a wonderful old corroded French chef’s knife triumphantly.
I remembered that it had belonged to my aunt.
Who had gotten it from her brother, salvaged from the ashes
of an old hotel kitchen fire.

“We will open the cans with this”, he said.

He popped the point of the knife 
into the first can, and began to saw and pry his way around the rim.

“See…we are anarchists”, he said.
I pointed out that this was an old Boy Scout camping trick.

And he responded, 
“Exactly.”

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About the Author: Rick Christiansen has been a stand-up comic, an actor, director, and a corporate executive.  His work can be found in the archives of Oddball Magazine, Muddy River Poetry Review, The Raven’s Perch, The Rye Whiskey Review, Stone Poetry Journal, WINK Magazine and many other publications and anthologies. His poem “Killing Bob Dylan” is in the Fall 2021 Pop Culture anthology by Alien Buddha Press. He is a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Rick lives in Missouri near his eight grandchildren and with his basset hound Annie.

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Image Credit: John Vachon “Dog sleeping under kitchen table in farm kitchen. Cavalier County, North Dakota” (1940) The Library of Congress, Public Domain

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