Carrots kept Christmas pudding plain.
No gold leaf flattered Nottingham.
Choclate—you wrote, brisk, young.
What sweetness touched your tongue?
Your first friends were cornflour, ground rice.
Your middle age still sang with spice,
spooned, generous to a fault.
Cinnamon. Ginger. Salt?
Steam smudged your letters. Leather Cups?
I squint. The words are: Quaker Oats.
Your trust in brand names shone.
King, Country, only one.
You knew dessert. You wrote
the old name: cocoanut.
Through bright Treacle I see
the dark Imperial tree.
A married student, money short,
I spooned rough ground rice at the start—
strong, workaday, low-cost—
like all the tastes we lost.
If you have any comments on this poem, Alison
Brackenbury would be pleased to hear from you.
This poem is from Alison Brackenbury's new collection of poems
(and recipes): Aunt Margaret's Pudding, to be published in
April by Happenstance Press.