Bittersweet

This post was written in response to an Indie Ink challenge.  The Drama Mama asked me to "write an ode to chocolate Dr. Seuss style."  I challenged Diane with "three drops of rain in a deadly sky."

Bittersweet
It happened every Christmas.  A certain special tin
Arrived in Grandma’s glove-ed hands; creating quite a din.
This tin bore handmade chocolates; chocolates filled with creams:
Spearmint, orange, maple, the stuff of children’s dreams.

But, too, that tin held flavors for which I had no taste:
Cherry, almond, lemon: Oh what a great, great waste.
But how to tell the difference?  Oh, how was I to know
If that chocolate hid a treasure or a cherry chunk below?

“To the freezer,” Mother said, as she pointed to the stair.
 “Let’s make them last!  Let’s savor them!  Forget about them there!”
But minds of children worry over chocolates in the dark.
And children sneaked down basement stairs; on a quest we would embark.

Again we faced the trouble of what those chocolate held.
But one of us had certain gifts at which she well-excelled:
“Stab it,” she informed us.  “Just poke it with your thumb.”
“And peek inside, and you decide: but mind me: do keep mum.”

So I flipped that candy over, and stared right up inside
If it was mint, I ate it; Cherry, I would hide.
I’d hide it at the bottom; the bottom of that tin.
Because I knew if Mom found out, there’d be a mighty din.

Many days passed in this way, this sneaking down the stair
To find a certain flavor in the dark and musty air.
And then one day my father, he asked us for the tin.
We went downstairs and brought it out, and yes, there was that din.

“Who stabbed at all these candies?”  He stared down at the tin.
He stared down at the cherry creams lying there within.
He picked among those wounded creams all lying in a heap.
He picked around until he found lying in the deep

Recesses of wax paper.  Yes, he found that which he sought.
He pushed aside the wounded, all stabbed and then forgot.
He’d found the greatest treasure!  The best one of them all!
He’d found a homemade caramel!  (I’d thought we’d got them all).

For caramels were a special treat, beloved by young and old. 
For caramels were soft and sweet.  They were like liquid gold. 
But caramels were not discreet: They could not hide the truth: 
A chocolate that refused to yield was most pleasing to the tooth.

And so it was we children were summoned to the place
Of Great-Great-Great Aunt Edna.  The purpose was to face
Our crimes and our transgressions: We’d learn the proper way--
The proper way to dip and roll; We learned it all that day.

That day we ceased our stabbing at the hearts of those poor creams.
We’d take a chance and take a bite and hope we’d find our dreams.
And to this day ‘round Christmas time, we gather, siblings all.
We gather with our mother; and our children one and all.

We gather to make candies.  We gather to share dreams.
We gather to make caramels.  We don’t bother with the creams.
Because we know our children (we know ourselves as well).
Because we don’t want fingerprints upon the chocolate shell.


Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Bittersweet

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bittersweet

This post was written in response to an Indie Ink challenge.  The Drama Mama asked me to "write an ode to chocolate Dr. Seuss style."  I challenged Diane with "three drops of rain in a deadly sky."

Bittersweet
It happened every Christmas.  A certain special tin
Arrived in Grandma’s glove-ed hands; creating quite a din.
This tin bore handmade chocolates; chocolates filled with creams:
Spearmint, orange, maple, the stuff of children’s dreams.

But, too, that tin held flavors for which I had no taste:
Cherry, almond, lemon: Oh what a great, great waste.
But how to tell the difference?  Oh, how was I to know
If that chocolate hid a treasure or a cherry chunk below?

“To the freezer,” Mother said, as she pointed to the stair.
 “Let’s make them last!  Let’s savor them!  Forget about them there!”
But minds of children worry over chocolates in the dark.
And children sneaked down basement stairs; on a quest we would embark.

Again we faced the trouble of what those chocolate held.
But one of us had certain gifts at which she well-excelled:
“Stab it,” she informed us.  “Just poke it with your thumb.”
“And peek inside, and you decide: but mind me: do keep mum.”

So I flipped that candy over, and stared right up inside
If it was mint, I ate it; Cherry, I would hide.
I’d hide it at the bottom; the bottom of that tin.
Because I knew if Mom found out, there’d be a mighty din.

Many days passed in this way, this sneaking down the stair
To find a certain flavor in the dark and musty air.
And then one day my father, he asked us for the tin.
We went downstairs and brought it out, and yes, there was that din.

“Who stabbed at all these candies?”  He stared down at the tin.
He stared down at the cherry creams lying there within.
He picked among those wounded creams all lying in a heap.
He picked around until he found lying in the deep

Recesses of wax paper.  Yes, he found that which he sought.
He pushed aside the wounded, all stabbed and then forgot.
He’d found the greatest treasure!  The best one of them all!
He’d found a homemade caramel!  (I’d thought we’d got them all).

For caramels were a special treat, beloved by young and old. 
For caramels were soft and sweet.  They were like liquid gold. 
But caramels were not discreet: They could not hide the truth: 
A chocolate that refused to yield was most pleasing to the tooth.

And so it was we children were summoned to the place
Of Great-Great-Great Aunt Edna.  The purpose was to face
Our crimes and our transgressions: We’d learn the proper way--
The proper way to dip and roll; We learned it all that day.

That day we ceased our stabbing at the hearts of those poor creams.
We’d take a chance and take a bite and hope we’d find our dreams.
And to this day ‘round Christmas time, we gather, siblings all.
We gather with our mother; and our children one and all.

We gather to make candies.  We gather to share dreams.
We gather to make caramels.  We don’t bother with the creams.
Because we know our children (we know ourselves as well).
Because we don’t want fingerprints upon the chocolate shell.


Labels:

25 Comments:

At September 26, 2011 at 2:17 PM , Anonymous Debra Ann Gray-Elliott said...

You did a great job! Made me chuckle...

 
At September 26, 2011 at 2:20 PM , Anonymous The Drama Mama said...

YOU ROCKED THIS. Yes. it is absolutely 125% perfection. You might not write a lot of poetry, but this? was divine!!!

Thank you for taking on my challenge and kicking it in the pants.

 
At September 26, 2011 at 3:17 PM , Anonymous Beverly Diehl said...

What Drama Mama said. Total applause and awe.

 
At September 26, 2011 at 4:52 PM , Anonymous PandorazBox80 said...

I LOVE this! I was expecting a lot of silly, made up words, but this is pure awesomeness! Excellent job. Really funny!

 
At September 26, 2011 at 5:18 PM , Anonymous Sue Ann Bowling said...

This was fun! (But I LIKE lemon.)

 
At September 26, 2011 at 6:35 PM , Anonymous Bewildered Bug said...

So awesome - I love caramel chocolates too!!! Good idea the finger poking - darned it all I wish I had thought of that when I was younger!!!!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 2:13 AM , Anonymous Anastacia Campbell said...

Oh, this is FANTASTIC. You rocked this challenge hard and big ups to Drama Mama for such a cool prompt!!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 3:11 AM , Anonymous jaum said...

I read with delight
Alone with a grin
the details so right
The Caramel a sin!

The marks on your fingers
Still smudged with brown
and the memory lingers
A thorn in your crown!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 6:57 AM , Anonymous Leslie said...

i want so much to include this with the chocolates we give away this year!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 8:33 AM , Anonymous Liz Culver said...

Wow, what a fantastic job you've done with this. The story you've constructed with it made me smile.

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:36 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

You know, I really hated this prompt at first. It was HARD. I was going to cheese out on it with something quick and short, but forced myself to do this instead. I'm glad I did. Thanks so much!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Beverly!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I can't take the credit for the finger poking - but it sure worked well!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 11:39 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

"The caramels a sin" - You got that right!

 
At September 27, 2011 at 2:27 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Liz! I had more fun with this than I ever thought I would.

 
At September 27, 2011 at 7:42 PM , Anonymous The Drama Mama said...

And I see that you found it was fun too. That's a huge plus. That's what I have discovered after every hard challenge I was given. I'm so glad you had fun with this.

 
At September 27, 2011 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous billy_flynn said...

Great post Kelly, this is a classic Seussism if I ever read one!

"Oh what a great, great waste. But how to tell the difference? Oh, how was I to know If that chocolate hid a treasure or a cherry chunk below?

 
At September 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

I loved this. And you can send those cherry cremes to me. I love them ;)

 
At September 30, 2011 at 4:21 AM , Anonymous Earlybird said...

Great response to the prompt! A real 'tour de force'!

 
At October 5, 2011 at 2:28 PM , Anonymous Katie687 said...

laughing and crying at the same time. I think I was the one poking, if I remember correctly.

 
At December 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM , Anonymous mayger said...

Stroke of genius! Ditch the others and focus on those luscious caramels! This was such a fun read.~May

 

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