Kitchen Maid with Supper at Emmaus, or The Mulata
By Natasha Trethewey
—after the painting by Diego Velàzquez, ca. 1619
She is the vessels on the table before her:
the copper pot tipped toward us, the white pitcher
clutched in her hand, the black one edged in red
and upside down. Bent over, she is the mortar
and the pestle at rest in the mortar—still angled
in its posture of use. She is the stack of bowls
and the bulb of garlic beside it, the basket hung
by a nail on the wall and the white cloth bundled
in it, the rag in the foreground recalling her hand.
She's the stain on the wall the size of her shadow—
the color of blood, the shape of a thumb. She is echo
of Jesus at table, framed in the scene behind her:
his white corona, her white cap. Listening, she leans
into what she knows. Light falls on half her face.
Our plan for Sunday was to go to the county fair, but a forecast of over 100 degree temperatures made us all decide we didn't want to see the animals that badly and Adam's friends didn't want to go till evening anyway. So instead we got up early to get our air conditioning fixed (6 a.m. and well worth it), took Daniel along with everyone else to California Tortilla for lunch since those don't exist on the west coast, and did some pre-beach trip shopping.
We had dinner at my parents' house, where my mother decided that what we really needed was an August snowball fight and produced some out of her freezer that she made in January. We had a big dinner and watched some of the Olympic men's tennis final, women's volleyball, the gymnastics apparatus competition, Usain Bolt's 100 meters, and the beach volleyball quarterfinals. Now we're packing, doing laundry, and getting things organized for the beach!