Drawn by the wail of a steel guitar
through a bittersweet haze down the hallway,
drifted into a ballroom,
stood in the middle of the dance floor.
A tuxedoed waiter appeared,
presented a slender crystal champagne flute.
I sipped wailing water
and sang along with the blues.
A man in a lavender leisure suit
took my hand,
I danced with the devil
in the depth of despair,
regret and remorse
the rhythm of my heartache.
An expression of sorrow
this lament of mine,
determined to do penance
for missed opportunities.
The devil’s grip
coerced me to tango,
My feet followed his lead,
while my eyes
desperately sought the door
that was supposed to open
when one closed.
It’s due tomorrow,
I saw the reminder
written on the whiteboard.
Oh, why hadn’t I read a book?
I could have made time,
curled up in a chair,
sprawled out in bed,
gone to the library,
well, no – not the library.
I could have listened
to an audio book,
some famous actor
would have read to me.
I have no excuse,
just the lure of video games
to blame for my procrastination.
Now the book report
is due tomorrow.
Will my teacher know
I read the synopsis online?
but I hope not.
Though I prefer a champagne brunch,
with waiters in tuxedos,
linen tablecloth, sterling silver,
china edged in gold,
omelettes, fresh fruit pastries with whipped creme fraiche,
and bottomless flutes of champagne,
my life is an All-I-Can-Eat for $6.95 Buffet,
for $3 extra, get peel and eat shrimp,
add $5 for a glass of house wine.
No one waits on me,
I help myself
to a healthy green salad, grilled chicken, vegetables,
steak, baked potato –
pass by the fried offerings and pasta,
though a pile of french fries invites a second look.
There is nothing gourmet here,
just common everyday food
some of it comfort, some of it heartache,
a daily dose of calorie needs or not.
The buffet is never boring,
additional choices every day.
Sometimes, I step way out of the ordinary
and wear my lavender lilac dress,
include the peel and eat shrimp,
and sip white wine from a plastic cup.
When I feel adventurous,
I make my own sundae for dessert.
I never fail to turn heads
when I speak a bit too harshly
to the child in front of me
who empties all the rainbow sprinkles
on her ice cream sundae –
again, there are none for me!
My life is an All-I-Can-Eat Buffet,
but I dream of a champagne brunch.
My favorites were your favorites,
it really didn’t matter to me,
as long as you were happy,
I was happy.
I have no favorites,
only a wardrobe of discarded choices
heaped in a pile on the closet floor.
Incapable of making a decision,
I have no favorites
to fashion my mood.
The flame of love’s candle
frolicked on the end of the wick,
scented my life bittersweet,
woke me in the middle of the night,
disrupted my dreams.
Anxious to fuel the warmth in my heart,
frantic to maintain the glow,
I sheltered passion from the wind.
But the flame flickered,
disillusion danced in the shadows
on the walls of my soul.
I questioned my devotion.
In the dim light of the flickering flame
love was not worth the effort needed
to protect its fire from the tempest
for its fragrance no longer appealed to me,
and the light had lost its dazzle.
With love’s flame extinguished,
I was happy alone in the dark.
Leafing through the pages
of a magazine in the waiting room,
I am drawn to a photo of a
Lemon-Lavender-Poppy Seed Cake.
Delicate lilac blossoms
of buttercream frosting
tease my taste buds,
tempt me to read the directions.
Could I create such a cake?
The sugar sweet recipe
with classic cake ingredients
estimates a 20 minute prep time.
Hmmm ….. 20 minutes?
Dried culinary lavender?
Ummm ….. Those aren’t in my kitchen.
Turn to page 88 for
make the frosting flowers.
How? Too much trouble.
No longer tempted by
Lemon-Lavender-Poppy Seed Cake,
I lust for the mint center Oreo cookies
that wink at me from
a provocative picture on page 89.
No complex directions,
less than 10 seconds prep time,
and with a package in my kitchen cupboard
I will give in to temptation
the minute I get home.