Sometimes the sight of Girl Scouts selling cookies brings thoughts of sitting around a campfire. Mix those thoughts with some memories and imagination and the result requires an apology to Edgar Allen Poe.
The Cravin’ was published in the Yolo county (California) literary magazine, The Yolo Crow in October, 2006.
(With apologies to E.A. Poe)
Once upon a winter dreary, while I pondered, starved and bleary,
Over many large and heavy volumes full of cooking lore –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my kitchen door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my kitchen door –
Maybe bringing me a s’more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in that cold December,
And each separate glowing ember passed its warmth right to my core.
I was low and with some sorrow; — vainly I had tried to borrow
From my books before the morrow recipes I’d lost for s’mores –
For the warm and luscious dish we know whose name to be the s’more.
What I craved was just one more.
Though my hunger now was stronger, I hesitated then no longer.
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my kitchen door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” – here I opened wide the door; —
‘Twas a chicken, nothing more.
This bantam bird began beguiling lips of mine to start in smiling
By the blank but stern decorum of the countenance she wore.
Not the least small bow made she and not an instant stopped or stayed she,
But, as though a landlord, perched above my kitchen door –
Perched upon the bust of Martha S above my kitchen door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
But the chicken, sitting lonely, from her placid perch said only
A single word, as if her soul in that one word she did outpour.
Nothing further then she uttered, — not a feather then she fluttered –
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends may bring me s’mores.
This red bird brings not a gift and still she’s tapping on my door.”
What she said was, “Buk-buk-s’more.”
About the bird now I was guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl just sitting on the bust above my kitchen door.
“Whence this bird?” I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the heavy cook book’s lining that the lamplight flickered o’er.
But that heavy cook book’s lining with the lamplight flickering o’er,
Had the recipe for s’mores!
To the cupboards I was turning, all my soul within me churning.
Soon I made again the missing treats my heart adored.
“Surely,” said I, “with this bird my fortune’s changing.
How to thank her most sincerely will I now with cheer explore.”
When I gave her corn and greens she ate them o’er my kitchen door —
And then she said “Buk-buk-s’more.”
At the table I was feasting and no manners was I keeping
While I gobbled down my s’mores on which my love now did outpour.
From my fingers came great drippings, then my tongue did lots of lickings,
Licking all the pots and tools, everything except the floor.
While I’m doing all my gorging, perched above my kitchen door,
Intoned the bird, “Buk-buk-s’more.”
With my stomach fully loaded, eyes bulged out, my body bloated,
Nausea made my edges green while vertigo spun at my core.
Then became my body heavy; ‘pig-out’ tax the treats did levy,
Pulling me to lie out level right beside the kitchen door.
Lips of mine then mumbled feebly as I lay upon that floor,
“All I want is just one more.”
— for Alix