Glorified Rice

For special occasions we ate
Glorified Rice,
white rice slathered with whip cream and random pineapple chunks.
Before that was German food,
hamburger baked inside dough,
fried dough and potatoes
or chunks of fried dough bubbled-up as big as hubcaps.
Dad’s hands were large, too,
the biggest I’d ever seen,
knuckles usually cracked and bleeding,
grease faded between the whorls of his skin,
a hard day at the shop behind him,
his mood darker than the belly of a raincloud,
all of us seated at the table,
quiet mice chewing,
stealing glances at Mom,
wondering what she was thinking,
how she would react if there was another blowup again,
me reaching for the plastic bowl with my trembling elbows,
spooning a hill of Glorified Rice onto my plate
while my father watched me with eyes
I did not recognize
but still recall to this day.

Len Kuntz is an writer from Washington State and the author of the story collection, The Dark Sunshine, from Connotation Press. Additionally, he’s an editor at the online lit zine Literary Orphans. You can find him at

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