Dr Who in the Kitchen of my Childhood

by Marina Byrne from Brisbane

The kitchen of my childhood was a white hot, tight hot box that hoarded heat and ants and blowflies. The coloured glass of the lone casement window above the sink turned the sun’s rays into sickly green fingers of heat. It was the wet heat of the tropics and it stuck things to you.

Your hair.
Your shirt.
Your loved ones.

Dreams were surrendered in that kitchen. Wearily folded up along their worn edges and put away. Family bonds were forged and cracked, gouged and mended over a thousand sinks of crockery and cutlery.

If you know where to look, the kitchen tells stories:

-on that door jamb, childhood heights etched with a blunt butter knife.

-the dark confines of the pantry became a confessional once. The memory of stealing chocolate still shames me.

-a childish game of Daleks played there during a late night washing up. Arms outstretched, knees locked into robotic gait. Five paces back and forth, back and forth from the cupboards to the door.

‘Ex-ter-min-ate. Ex-ter-min-ate.’

That night, desperate giggles beat back the darkness outside and hushed the wail of the curlews.

Desolation stilled for a moment.

In the kitchen of my childhood.

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