The Poem–Produce, Far Aisle

“Do that somewhere else,”

            said the prune lipped

                        banana nosed

                        apricot eared

                        tomato headed high school librarian

when she caught me lingering over Brave New World

So many places to stop

            squeeze the covers

            sniff the ends

            look for brown spots

            cobwebs and signs of spoilage

Delicious and ripe fruits

So close to my nose and near sighted eyes

It was her mission to keep me away from tantalizing words

            revolutionary black marks on onion white pages

            and artichokian abstractions

I plucked the pages, grape by grape, illegally

            and popped them into my mouth

            hiding behind the stacks of fresh and purple prose

When she turned to restack the encyclopedia display

            I dashed out the back door

            Dickinson and Twain in hand

            dropping strawberry stems as I fled

Mother’s Swedish Spice Cake

My mom visited unexpectedly last week when I came across her recipe for spice cake in an old box of photos. Although she left us almost twenty-five years ago, she manages to pop in every so often. And there she was in that box long buried in the back of the space under the stairs. A lovely surprise. Our way too hot weather cooperated by cooling down enough for me to turn on the oven this morning. I’m not the three-year old picutured on the recipe card anymore, but this morning’s cake tasted just as good as it did then. I’m sure.

Produce, Far Aisle

One of my poems has been selected as a finalist in the Southwest Writers 2022 Writing Contest. A nice surprise to open the month of July. Here’s to dropping strawberry stems as we flee from the world.