(Click on the photograph to expand…)
This photo is from the Facebook page of a Friend-of-a-Friend, taken by James Smith. You could call it ‘Apples in Winter’, or maybe ‘Candy for the Soul’, dessert for the eyes… What particularly struck me was that Mr. Smith came upon these apples in the snow on his way somewhere, and the moment caught him…the vision of snow, the gracious tree, crisp tart apples, gray surroundings with brushes of color, the chill air, the texture of falling snow… The moment caught him, so he went back to catch the moment, to save the glimpse.
What touched me about the poem from Ken McKeon was that same surprise, and the same desire to catch the glimpse, he was on his way to accomplish a task, to return with the perfect top-off for a special meal, the pinnacle of an intended moment. Both men were surprised at the gifts they discovered…the moment’s surprise, like the bright smile of a loved one directed right at you. What could be better when space opens and time presents such richness?
Dessert From Masse’s
By Ken McKeon
My turn this Saturday to buy dessert,
Both as a treat for us
And sure token
Of my capacitance
As a loving man.
And it sparks me to fear, this having to find
A truly happy way to cap a meal,
It’s seriously intimidating.
And I am off to Masse’s two blocks away,
A dessert shop, a bakery of clarity,
Its efforts always appealing
To eye, nose, tongue, mouth,
There one discovers
Tastes worth discovering,
There at Masse’s.
And the welcoming clerk says: Yes?
I stare into the case at
The usual wonders,
Wonderfully, calmly, invitingly hued,
Cakes, and cream filled delicacies, pies too,
All here in this quietly brimming case.
And I ask: What’s that?
This? She says and she gently points
To sort of a squatly rounded five inch long
Fiery red cylindrical thing.
It’s a firecracker.
I’ll take it. Box it up.
And as I roll on home I think
Of what a blast it will be
To have my buy on our plate!
And I also think:
Maybe it’s filled with gunpowder cream,
Maybe tonight no candles on the table.
Maybe my wife will be grim and frowning.
Maybe she will straight out ask me:
Just what is this? What were you thinking?
And she does. And I say:
A firecracker, hoping to please you.
And she takes her fork and breaks
Through the hot red crust
And she finds within it, a subtly
Citrus laced light filled tasty cream,
All on a moist cake bed,
And then she smiles and says:
Yum, a firecracker, imagine that, good choice.