Regardless of the occasion, we all know what’s coming. At some point, over the chatter and the laughter; over the clatter of cutlery and plates being passed around; over the scraping of chairs and the running of water as the teakettle is filled, Mom will lift her voice above it all and issue a singular, regal command, sometimes with one arm raised above her head for emphasis:
“Bring me the sun, the moon and the stars.”
It sounds like a lot to ask, but really, it’s not.
Whoever happens to be closest to the wide, shallow drawer beneath the stove—the one with stacks of mismatched serving spoons, gravy ladles, a turkey baster, assorted sets of steak knives, the sharp-toothed grapefruit spoons, the long-handled fondue forks and a collection of decades-old baby spoons—will pull on the knob and gingerly fish around inside the drawer until his or her hand locates everyone’s favorite utensil: a wedge-shaped, stainless steel cake server with punched-out holes representing the aforementioned heavenly bodies.
Dessert (or breakfast, or dinner) is now served.
Eileen Cunniffe writes mostly nonfiction and often explores identity and experience through the lenses of travel, family and work. Her writing has appeared in many literary journals, including Superstition Review, Hofstra Windmill, Bluestem Magazine and The RavensPerch. Occasionally, her stories present themselves as prose poems. Three of Eileen’s essays have been recognized with Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards and another received the Emrys Journal 2013 Linda Julian Creative Nonfiction Award. Eileen also writes for The Nonprofit Quarterly. Read more at: www.eileencunniffe.com.