Allison’s Noodle Soup

my thirteen year old


(who once

wasn’t mine

but now

she is)

eats noodle soup

topped with poached egg

and seasoned with chili oil

on a Wednesday afternoon

in the fall

after school


school makes her hungry

and she idled through English class

craving the spicy burn

because noodle soup is comfort




13 months of calling her mine


but when she came

she did not eat noodle soup

she did not


nose not quite mine

not my husband’s either

would crinkle up

at the unfamiliar



rice noodles

so unlike spaghetti

bok choy

not spinach

quivering poached egg

perched aloft

trembling as her fears


will they make me eat this?

will I be good enough?

will they keep me

will they love me

will we be a family?


what will Christmas be like?

my birthday be like?

dinner be like?

will it be

noodle soup?





13 months and now

noodle soup is home

she can handle

her hashi

even to transport

five fat gyoza

to her mouth

which isn’t mine either


but she is



of the

noodle soup.


woman in white and black striped sweatshirt holding filled white ceramic bowl
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

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