Thursday, January 21, 2010

Takeout Order, Kara L.C. Jones

Takeout Order
by Kara L.C. Jones
excerpt from The Good Wife (forthcoming from KotaPress)

To place a takeout order
for dinner is so easy.
You decide what you want
on your taste buds and
simply dial the phone.

But in my house,
we used to cook as much
as takeout-- that is to say,
there was balance until
Dakota died-- since my son's
death, we take out way more
than we take in.

And takeout is not so easy now.
My husband cannot trust me
to dial the phone and
place our order.
On more than one
occasion, my husband
has caught me
arguing with the waiter
on the other end of the phone.

The waiter simply asks,
"May I take your order please?"
to which, I'm supposed to
easily answer, "One order
of Channa Marsala with
steamed rice, Aloo Gobi, and
a side on Nan, please."
But instead I often
snap back angrily,
almost yelling,
"Yes, you can take my order
and please get it right this time.
I want one perfectly
healthy baby boy with
ten fingers and ten toes
and a perfectly good
brain, spine, and heart
and this time
he needs to be breathing!"

The man at the other end of line
is often surprised,
shocked at my request,
demands, "Is this
some kind of a joke,
lady?!" which just pisses
me off more and I
yell back, "It is not a joke, buddy!
I'll tell you what a joke is! A Joke
is being pregnant all that time
and then giving birth to death!
Now damn it, Mister, are you
going to deliver my
baby the right way or not?!"

At this point my husband
is so frustrated and upset
with me that he just
severs the connection
wishing he had been
able to cut our son's
umbilical cord with this
kind of success.  And I'm
sobbing, and he's freaking,
and the phone is beeping
with the sound of being
disconnected but not quite
hung up, and I say,
"I think I'm hung up
on Kota's death," and
my husband says, "Let's
hang the tears out to dry
and order a pizza for dinner

But this time, he calls
and appropriately answers
by saying, "We'll take a large
with extra cheese and a 2 liter
of root beer, please."

And I am disappointed
that my son
won't be resurrected
in tonight's takeout dinner.


about the poet.
Kara L.C. Jones, aka Mother Henna, is the Radical Creative behind all things In 1999, after the death of their son Dakota, Kara and her partner Hawk co-founded Kota Press (KOTA: Knowing Ourselves Thru Art), an expressive arts outreach. Through their KOTA work and in partnership with the MISS Foundation, they have been mentoring other bereaved parents and caregivers around the world, offering creative perspectives on learning to life again after loss. As a coach to private clients, Kara facilitates the exploration of grief and creativity using many tools for alternative mind, body, spiritual health. Some of her specialties include henna art, heART-making, co-active coaching, Reiki, Tapping, asking the answerable questions and more. Kara keeps a radical creativity blog at Mother Henna and her Kota Loss & Compassion Blog.


  1. Really powerful and unique- I love this. The part that hit me the most was after the tension grows, but right before severing the connection on the phone.

  2. What an intense and moving essay story. The anger rises up in so many ways and places, unexpectedly at times.

  3. This is fucking amazing, Kara. I love it, I love it, I love it.

  4. Do you mind passing along the phone number of the take out place that will deliver a living, healthy baby? *sigh*

    I love this - so powerful. Well done.

  5. Thanks for the feedback and your loving, understanding eyes, everyone! So appreciate Angie giving us this space to connect and share. I've had that poem "ready" for more than several years now, but just haven't found a place to publish the book it is part of -- and/or never have had the energy to just self-publish it finally. All of your feedback and reflections tell me again that I need to get these words out and shared more. Thank you much much. And sending gentle Reiki vibes to all! k-


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