My mom used to shrug off indulgence with a poem.
“This is just to say”, she would murmur, slicing the dense chocolate cake frosted with fudge so thick that we could peel it off and eat it in slabs.
“So sweet/and so cold”, I would finish, reaching around her to sliver off my own corner of the cake we had made. We would grin at each other while we licked our fingers.
Here’s the whole poem.
This Is Just To Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
William Carlos Williams
I see that poem as my childhood in twelve lines — extravagance, guilt, confession. My mom.
Cynics complain that these twelve lines don’t make a proper poem: it’s too simple; it doesn’t bother to rhyme; its action is all in the past tense. Not to mention that no one gives two shits about plums, fresh OR frozen.
But moments can carry tremendous weight. My mom died when I was forty and now every time I try to make that chocolate cake without her, I fail. The frosting cracks or the crumb chunks into gravel. Nothing will ever be the same.
My blog is dabs of simple moments: a bike ride, a leech, a Chinese ghost without knees.
The entries are confidences, complaints, and celebrations. Maybe some of them are more than what they seem. I hope all of them are honest, because that’s the hardest part.