Apple Crumble with Love
I didn't know about grown-up desperation
then. Had gotten used to carrots, potatoes and water.
Didn't mind porridge made with wheat ground in mum's lap
with our old coffee grinder. Had no idea what coffee was.
I knew whey, not milk. Butter was a foreign word.
There was something nice in a slice of dark bread
with a layer of mashed potatoes. Sometimes
I brought home an egg, stolen, still warm,
from under one of Mrs. Keller's hens.
For my birthday mum made an apple crumble
with flower, water, and a few apples which
had overwintered--wrapped in a newspaper--
in a drawer. At the time I didn't understand
why mum was crying when she tried to
prize the beautiful apple crumble from
the baking tray with a hammer and a chisel.
I stood naked, reflected
in your eyes, dark as storm clouds.
On the edge of that cheap
hotel bed you, beast of prey,
ready to go for the kill.
Through the breaking, slatted
blinds the viscous southern sun played
on our bodies. A cockroach with wings
watched from the ripped jute
that once covered the wall.
After the boat had taken us back
across the lake you kissed my forehead,
left me there. Had to visit your mother.
A brass band began to play.
I didn't watch you go.
A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of Tangents, a poetry collection published in the UK in 2010/2011, her work has been widely published in US poetry journals (online and print). She was twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, and a new poetry collection is earmarked for publication in May/June in the US.