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The Range

by Kate Thompson

I like the range,
The big, black weight of it
Sitting there against the wall.
I like the no knobs of it,
No switches.
Sliding the pan across the top
To find the right heat
For boil or bubble or simmer.

The sounds of it.
Hard clacking of the riddler,
Hinge-moan of the oven door,
Long, slow breath of the kettle,
Fading out.

I like the gentle morning warmth,
And in the evening
To turn my back and lean against the heat.
Just barely lean.

The soft thump of burning sods settling.
The heartbeat of the house.


Taken from ‘Roughly Speaking’ (1991), page 6.

Kate Thompson