I walked by her house again last night
windows twilight grey, empty
two beige porch chairs missing.
At home ordered the legendary
Italian rum cake bright with red and green peaks.
Known then by a young, unyielding daughter.
I was probably seven or eight.
Winning the cake by appeal, tears and will
a skill used later to get milk and bread
from the local variety store
-- on the bill.
The exotic, odd taste and
the thrill of something new, forbidden.
Two beige chairs tossed by the bin.
No goodbyes, no farewell.
When the cake arrives tomorrow,
I will set aside a slice –
and savor the taste of the
© Karen Joyce 6/1/21