Sylvia’s right hand was cramping from holding the potato masher so tightly. Her right arm rose and fell like a piston, glasses on the counter rattled she was pounding so hard. The boys were in the living room, watching tv, the volume on so low that they had to sit next to the cabinet to hear. They knew that at times like this it was best to be as quiet and out of the way as possible. Sylvia wiped sweat from her forehead, spit into the potatoes and finished mashing. She grabbed the handle of the pot, walked to the kitchen table and slammed it down hard with a loud thunk. The boys jumped. They looked at each other. “Get in here. It’s ready.”
The boys slowly stood up, shut off the tv and walked towards the kitchen. Their mom was leaning over the open oven door, pulling out the ham. The boys quietly pulled out their chairs and sat down. Glasses of milk had already been poured. “Get over here and get your meat. I ain’t carrying this to the table.” Both boys stood up, took their plates and walked to the counter. Their mom brandished a large fork and carving knife, as she slashed into the ham, slicing two thick slabs.
Both boys looked at the thick slices. It was a lot of meat, but knew they would both finish it. Each boy put a few potatoes on their plate. “Make sure you get some green beans too. I know you two.” Both boys looked at each other and spooned out some green beans. Sylvia slammed the over door shut, “You better have more green beans than that.”
The boys sat down and started to eat. Jacob asked quietly, “Aren’t you going to eat mom?”
“No, I ain’t hungry. I have a headache. I’m going to go lie down.” Sylvia walked out of the kitchen. The boys heard their mother’s bedroom door open and shut.
“Thank god,” Jacob said with a sense of relief.
“Shhhhh, she might hear you.”