I am rich, buttery coconut with warm ginger tea, melty chocolate crackle on a Saturday night. If you like, marvelous molasses, merry in mid afternoon. A melting moment, a kiss, spicy and sweet.
Drop me, roll me, press me, powder me — I am your favorite bar none. Flirting with dates, almonds, lemon and cinnamon, I always rise to the occasion. I go wherever you go, tell your fortune if you like.
Love me, love a cookie. Trace my life in crumbs.
IF ONLY HUMPTY DUMPTY HAD BEEN A COOKIE
by Diane Lockward
Chocolate chip, lumpy but popular,
sanctimonious with tradition,
or a beautiful cookie like oatmeal lace,
delicate and chocolate-dipped,
visitor from a foreign place, Russian teacake,
shortbread with its dusty Scottish brogue,
the crisp Parisian sweetness of a meringue,
reminder that goodness breaks,
home-baked cookies from the kitchen
if only he could find his way back,
trace the trail of air scented with vanilla,
almond extract, and coconut,
the buttery goodness of his childhood
pulverized like crumbs on the floor,
a blizzard of cookies in December,
date nut bar for the lunch box,
Mississippi mud, the egalitarian black and white,
or an odd cookie, one that doesn’t belong,
like a bitter espresso wafer, wimpy jelly tabby,
granola jumble with texture but no taste,
cookies that went astray,
Donna’s Polish angel wings,
powdered and fragile as snowflakes,
cookies that emigrated,
crossed mountains, stowed away in ships,
slipped across borders,
and showed up in sweatshops,
flattened by the rolling pin,
cookies that staved off hunger, hid in pockets,
slept under pillows until morning light,
and did not crumble,
a blitz of cookies
spinning through Time
like pinwheels and pfeffernuesse,
cookies earned with his yellow curls,
soft renegade cookies,
dropped, refrigerated, rolled and cut,
cookies baked by his mother,
his grandmother, a procession of women in aprons,
their slippers padding into the kitchen,
women greasing pans, pre-heating ovens,
their hands dipped in flour,
fingers kneading butter, sugar and eggs,
women filling and enfolding him,
bringing him home, wrapped
in the unbreakable dough of their arms.
~ from Temptation by Water (Wind Publications, 2010)
Diane Lockward is one smart cookie — it seems she wrote this poem just for me ☺. Did you ever think a catalog of cookies could be so provocative, seductive and devilishly delicious? Cookies are portable sin; even when the last crumb is gone, their textures and flavors linger, like lost loves. I like how Diane juxtaposes the seeming innocence of a childhood nursery rhyme with an adult sense of longing and loss, mixing in a little salt with the sugar. Her cookies are so well made, they transport you through time and space. Tip open the oven door, I crave just one more batch.
Now, let’s try this. If you’d like to satisfy your sugar cravings, chews one or a few wordy cookies as a prompt to make your own cookie poem. Leave it in the comments and I’ll post all of them next week:
♥ Diane Lockward’s official website is here.
♥ N.B.: Diane has posted an invaluable list of print publications that accept online submissions at Blogalicious. While you’re there, sign up for her monthly poetry newsletter if you haven’t already done so. She features great poems, prompts, craft tips, book recs and links.
♥ To read other Diane Lockward poems featured here at alphabet soup, click here (includes seduction by apple fritters and blueberries)!
Have a cookie-licious weekend!
Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.