Ode to Toaster Ovens

for Katherine Moennig


I used to think of toaster ovens

As practical things, a way of making bread

Warm and crisp, heating frozen pizza,

Recreating an unfinished meal when

The microwave was on the fritz. No more.


The transformation they call to mind

Now still contains heat and crispness, still

Takes the frozen unfinished thing, warmly

Embracing it, making it not only nourishing

But more desirable. Heat enhances flavor,


Teases the tongue, tells us it is time

To gather around a table, light candles,

Uncork and pour the wine. Heat reminds us

Who we are and what we hold most dear,

Especially when we thought we knew, and didn’t.


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