Poetry Corner: “The orange cake”

The orange cake

The son and daughter in law’s visit
celebrated by the baking or an orange cake
lovingly constructed as her late husband’s favourite
memories choke
relieved but temporarily through secret martinis spirited away in the kitchen
seeks to soothe but daggers of pain dig deeper
from wounds that will never heal
only temporarily addressed by hope foistered on three children
such as mother and daughter
so close call on the company’s phone line
for free (she was always cheap and selfish)
the Protestant ethic assuaged by a little corporate thievery
chain smoking organizer of corporate conventions
amidst the over organization of her own life
threatens anyone with a love interest
except for a married Connecticut man
looking for free sex
on platters of urban Manhattan meat markets
the futility is not perceived
and the mother sees it as the daughter is carried unconscious into the bathtub
fully clothed in ice water after the end of an affair
and even the friends laugh at the organizer that has ruined her
her own life ignorant of it
another ice cube shatters on a greasy kitchen floor

Redirecting thoughts to
another son driven to opiate comforts
now sees succession possibilities
and answers with a flood of terse letters
for future considerations
realized slowly and reluctantly
along with fragments of brain
scattered in hovels in Thailand, Nepal and India
and absence of any familial responsibility
hunted by telephone company inspectors
for unpaid phone bills
after all why give a damn
when long ago at a Christmas assembly
mother called his fiancé a shit

and now the baby of the family
grows weary of the family frustration
of a battlefield he may have created

and he was stolen by a hated daughter-in law

and they both arrive for dinner
greeted by a tottering mother
slurring greetings “he’s just like his father”
so obliterated not even aware of the bitterness
fueled by cheap Hungarian wine
burbles out discrete insults
throughout a horrendous chicken casserole recipe the beloved daughter sent
all this negative taken silently to a point
disgust creates a whirlwind exit
and the orange cake left untouched on the counter
and mother crawls into bed promptly passing out
with Hungarian vintners blameless

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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