Pulse Issue 2: 2023

Mom's Cooking

by: Reem Rizk

The notion of my maternal grandmother conjures two memories-- dropping rice inbetween her floral couch cushions, and one tranquil sleep in her lap. When it aches to remember being such a guest that my spills were deemed adorable, I soothe myself with the fragrances of her home. The secret ingredient is almost always cloves, and a woman is born with all her eggs. When I think of it this way, my grandmother has carried and fed me plenty. Last night, while cooking a meal for my mother and I, I was struck with the thought of my cooking someday becoming mom's cooking. It's a fear. A prophecy. A legacy. A recipe. A sort of imposter syndrome that aches monthly and won't be soothed 'til it becomes my evening routine. But I think one day my daughter will feed me and smile. It'll make her feel one meal closer to security when I lick my lips and say shukran ya shatoura! And then maybe, just maybe, her daughter will write a poem about visiting my house on Sunday mornings. She'll have memories of my critical eye while she tidies her spills. She'll hate some of the meals I make, but love some of them too. She'll fall asleep in my lap, and I'll kiss her forehead without strangers' lips. She'll remember how often I carried and fed her without the need for technicality.

Reem Rizk (she/her) specialises in the intersection of literary and visual arts. In her time at OCAD-U, she has led the development of the publication "Petal Projections", published short fiction collection “Tuck Me In”, and has crafted the graphic novel “Dream Diary”. Her multi-disciplinary passions interweave to fuel the themes of personhood, femininity, and nature that her narratives often take.