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Mother's Culinary Dreams, a Narrative Poem

Besides being an expert on sampling my mother's baked goods, I write poetry about the lives of the neglected and the disenfranchised.


When Reality Conflicts with Passion

We all have dreams and passions, but should we follow them in the face of failure and continued disappointments? This is a question, I asked myself repeatedly when I remembered my mother's love for baking cakes, cookies, and pies. My mother did persevere, however, despite the fact that none of her creations tasted or even resembled what she was trying to accomplish. She had a dream that one day, she would bake us a cake that we all could eat, as well as enjoy. God love you, Mom, wherever you have landed. This poem is for you.

Mother's Culinary Dreams

My mother was an angel

but not much of a baker.

She made many valiant attempts,

one failed cake after another.

As if she were blindfolded

when she used the Waring blender.

As if she were dyslexic

when it came to following recipe directions.

She gave up baking for a while.

Spared the world of all her inedible turmoil.

She got rid of her pie plates and trays,

donated her brand new spatulas and mixing bowls

to the Salvation Army.

But when the Holidays came,

my mother had a passionate reawakening.

She rediscovered her love for sweet and chewy things.

She lit up her gas oven and greased her aluminum pans.

She dreamt of being another Betty Crocker,

baking all sorts of cookies, cakes, and pies.

She cracked open the Pillsbury Doughboy

and cut it into cute little circles,

kneaded the dough nice and flat,

added a fresh prune filling,

curled and buttered it

and placed the tray onto the center rack.

Unfortunately, she didn’t set the timer.

She fell asleep reading Julia Child

on her vibrating recliner.

She woke up to a kitchen in flames,

the loud siren of a firetruck,

and masked men with black boots and red hats

breaking down her door with an ax.

Before she knew it,

my mother’s sweet creations,

her heartfelt concoctions

were up in smoke.

Her culinary dreams were shriveled,

charred, and unrecognizable.

Mother's Culinary Dreams, a Poem by Mark Tulin

© 2019 Mark Tulin