Environment Writer

Joanna M. Foster


Cutting Board

My mother has a cutting board that is cracked and warped and stained. It's really only half a cutting board because long ago it fractured down the middle during a covert military operation staged by my older brothers. Even the most mundane adult accoutrements hold an allure for children unrivaled by the trendiest toy.

You can't actually cut on the damn thing unless it's correctly balanced with a sponge tucked under one corner and a band-aid tucked in your back pocket. If I had a nickel for every time I reminded my mother of how affordable a new cutting board would be, I could have bought her a new cutting board each week.

"But it still works" my mother would insist, awkwardly slicing celery in the valleys of its undulating topography.

"Barely" I would scoff.

"Look, this cutting board was around for about a century before you were born. Yes, it's a little decrepit, but then again, so am I, so we get along just fine."

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I walk on the pavement, the unyielding cement exerting an equal and opposite force back up on the sole of my shoe repelling me away. I step off the sidewalk slightly and onto the matted, yellow grass. My heel sinks into the mud.

Suddenly I'm no longer being pushed away but gently pulled in, like a lover tugging at your hand to come closer. I give in and lie down in my work clothes on the muddy winter ravaged grass. The ground is faintly warm today and smells sweet close up - grass tickling my lips, the air affectionately soft on exposed shoulders. I gently rub my cheek against the grass and breathe in so deeply my chest aches.

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