Inevitable Scones

Reading “Letters to the Lost”
by Iona Grey,
I can’t move past the phrase
“inevitable scones.”

The scene is a wedding
in London in 1942.
The one-tiered cake is surrounded by
bloater paste sandwiches,
Spam rolls,
and Marjorie Walsh’s inevitable scones.

How I would love
to visit a restaurant
and order these icons
of United Kingdom cuisine.

“I’ll have the inevitable scones,” I’d say,
handing the menu back to the server
with a dismissive flourish.

I wouldn’t be tempted by the predestined pancakes,
the inexorable eggs,
the unavoidable avocadoes,
the foreseeable French toast, or
the inescapable ice cream.

With their flaky insides and red dots of dried currants,
the scones would sing their siren song
to me,
whose mother came from a mother
who was more than half-Scottish,
with rumored ancestors who worked
in a castle in the border country.

My teeth long to break through the smooth crust of baked milk,
my tongue tasting the lard and hint of yogurt,
the wheat  grown in the fields of the estate
and ground into flour.
 
I want to be transported back to
the River Tweed where the salmon run,
to grey stones standing tall in the fog,
to wolfhounds lying by the hearth,
to feather beds and the music of bagpipes,
to bare-chested men tattooed with Celtic knots
and wearing kilts. 

Inevitable,
the scones, they are calling.



Second-place finisher, Goodreads poetry newsletter contest, April 2016

Poetry -- a sampling

Bioluminescent Bay

You ask me if I
can dance.
I lie
and say no.
I glide
bioluminescent
in the water, warm
among the starfire
that brings heaven
home.

The spirits of my friends
wink in and out
trail down my arms
as I lift them
from the water,
a belly dancer gesturing,
longing for the lost ones.

I float with them,
turn and spin
around and around
to the music
pounding from the boat
until I am dizzy
with memory.
Salt tears commingle
drip back
to the sea.

​You are a bright star
overhead
alive and vital
full of possibilities
that are innocent enough
or not,
I do not know yet.

Star
streak down with me
into the night,
into the Caribbean Sea.
Churn the water
and watch the
sparks fly
with our dance
of life.


Published in “Migrations: Poetry & Prose for Life's Transitions” by Wildwood River Press, September 2011.