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Fish Bake

(by Audrey Molloy)

This is what you’re made of, my mother says;

green beans, next to Friday night’s supper,

like poplars edging wheat,

white egg, tapped and peeled

by small hands, fingers slipped between membrane and albumen,

gold smoked cod, pink horizons

on a lake of flame,


Just like our flag, she says,

whipping flaked hands across her pinny.

I am six and know nothing of flags.

While looking for my mother's Fish Bake recipe in her kitchen diary, I came across a handwritten list: “Things Audrey HATES for Dinner,” followed by “Things she LIKES” and a list of what my sister disliked. (Almost the mirror image of mine. My poor mother!)

(Mam, me, and my daughter Grace)

She was a stay-at-home mum and kept her house so organized. She had a place for everything. I attempt that, but with kids and work and everything else, I struggle. I do try to emulate some of her organization, such as having a stock o