White Frosted Cake Viewed At Ages 6 And 7 - Poem by mary douglas
(with a stray phrase at the end, owed to edna st. vincent millay)
white frosted (coconut) cake
with a single cherry, or only half a cherry
adorning your snowy single layer,
how is it that the half-cherry gleams
like a ruby? on the kitchen cake stand
we imagine you, baked for the queen and brought
in proudly with retainers dressed in silver lame
or ladies in waiting in pale party dress,
lime green chiffon at the very least
streaming from their cone shaped hats.
later they will go
(we are certain of it)
to the palace carport and play
pin-the-tail on the Donkey
just like we did, last Saturday
till their mothers call them home.
we know this is how it is.
and the crown jewels are
bubble gum machine
dispensed on your luckiest day
at the shoppng center
beside the garden tomatoes
for only a nickel
and you are rich, oh very
central to the pink fairy tale
we say to our little dog
whirring her pom-pom tail
like the applause meter
on Queen for a Day.
she doesn't guess,
(or does she?)
sniffing the tulips
as though they were roses-
we make it all up as we go along.
don't we? .while Grandmother plays
on the grand piano, Through Country Gardens.
white coconut cake with a single cherry.
making us very, very merry.
mary angela douglas 10 may 2014
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