Baking for the Holidays

November 19, 2011
Puffs of sugar
float through the air.
Chocolate icing
gets stuck in my hair.

I lick my fingers
and pass the spoon for a taste.
Does it need more vanilla,
more nutmeg,
more peppermint paste?

My brother’s eyes
gleam with childish delight.
I swat his hand and shout,
“Just one bite!”

With tender hands,
I place my labors in the oven’s care.
I wash the dishes
and try not to stare.

The timer rings,
jolting me to my feet.
I grab for my mittens,
praying “please, oh please, oh please!”

The warmth of the oven
lures me like ocean waves
sucking up the sand.
My spirits plummet
at the sight of a canyon
carved through the pan.

The trash can beckons me
to give up the fight.
But I am a baker,
and every baker knows how to hide!

I stack the cakes
I seal them
with a sticky, sugary glue.

Icing can disguise
every bump and crack.
When I unveil my creation,
my family will gasp.

smiling hands pass it around.
It is a success: not a crumb can be found.

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