The winter sun reaches through the kitchen window
and shines on the sheet of kolache dough
spread over a layer of flour four feet long,
so thin that I can see the grain of the wood
through the fingerprint flower I made on the edge.
I stand on tiptoe on a stool,
wrapped in an apron that is
decorated all over with puffs of flour
and lean forward
to watch my father draw a knife over the dough,
dividing it into a grid of three-inch squares.
When the blade moves on, I spoon
a small amount of filling from the bowel to my left
and spread it over the first square,
peel two fragile corners off the flour with my thumbs and
roll the dough around the filling into a kolache.
I tuck it into a cookie tray
and move on,
listening as my father hums
as his grandmother might have hummed,
and then he reminds me
not to use too much filling and to
keep the rolls tight,
as his father might have reminded him.