How to make a roux

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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I’ve known how since I was small
enough to need to stand on a chair.
You have to keep stirring
in order to keep it smooth.
My wrist a revolving door
for mood swings, in the big
Marks and Spencer’s, begging
to go round again.
Therapy is expensive. Butter,
milk and flour are cheap.
I can smooth it out with
a single hand, like yours
over my silky girl’s hair.
Tall as an adult but wobbling
on wooden legs. I want
to carry the weight of you
but I can’t stop stirring.
Have to keep it from burning.
I forgive you for the time
I dropped the last pot of coffee
and it smashed ceremoniously
over the tiles, a dark cloud 
sifting upwards between us.
I didn’t understand
back then how small things
could make it feel like
your lumpy life needed
throwing down the sink.
The milk is separating us.
There’s a resistance growing
in the middle of the pan. But
you lift it. Lift me back down
to my level and let me
suck on the spoon. You shouted
at me very loudly that day. But
I reckon if that’s the worst thing
you’ve ever done, then
you’re a pretty good Mum.