There was nothing unusual, I just hadn't done it before,
pressed "Clean Oven" on the control panel and watched
digital scrolling letters tell me the door was now locked.
The smoke came up through the heating vents
until my eyes watered in my bed, and I kept dragging
downstairs to make sure the wall wasn't on fire,
which it never was, though the kitchen was all smoke.
I opened a small window and let flurries dampen
the sill all night while upstairs the heater roared at us.
The son woke with a throat raw, with pain in the head,
woke and cried each time he coughed. The daughter
murmured from sleep, stuttering questions to herself
as I lay beside her on the other side of the wall watching
the clock move, listening to the baby cry phantom cries.
Somewhere in the night that felt too bright with moon
and street lights coming off the snow, we all stilled
and finally slept, and then it was morning, the smell of smoke
thinned, kitchen floor like stone, and the oven surprisingly clean.