He told me once that he would drink less
if I baked every day. Seemed an easy solution!
So it was oatmeal cookies and apple pie
and cake and zucchini bread and baguettes
and puffed-up honey whole wheat loaves
and tapioca pudding and lemon-blueberry muffins
and buttermilk biscuits I could make with my eyes closed.
Sometimes I baked twice a day, at breakfast and dinner:
waffles and cornmeal pancakes and poppy seed breadsticks
and chocolate cream pie and 2-egg yellow cake,
or Black Midnight Cake from my mom's Betty Crocker
3-ring cookbook (the page stained and ripped) .
Or chicken pot pie or stuffed crepes or popovers or shortcake.
Not enough, apparently, so I opened a bakery
and damn if he didn't die drunk a November night
after I'd spent the afternoon spooning fruitcake
into a row of tins - the one and only time I've made fruitcake.
Never knew how/if it turned out, or if anyone bought it.
(If it suffered its way into the garbage.)