A Family Collection

by Ros Ayres



These words are ingredients at my fingertips,

collections of memories that map every dish. 

Stimulating my senses, transporting me back, 

I can almost taste it.


The kitchen table laid for dinner, 

today’s dessert, an upside down pineapple cake.

The sponge glistens with glacé cherries, like

jewels they nestle inside pineapple rings.


A slice of Wall’s Viennetta, a Friday treat,

that fizz of excitement as I sliced my spoon into

the vanilla ice cream, slivers of chocolate

cracked and splintered.


Breathing in warm, sweet aromas of fresh

baking. a treacle tart, that golden lattice lid.

The satisfying sound of shortcrust pastry 

as you cut each slice.


My spoon poised over a bowl of steaming

apple crumble, looking buoyant in Bird’s custard.

By now I’d learnt that speed secured seconds,

it was swiftly devoured.


Sneakily breaking off edges of crisp batter

from the tray of toad in the hole. Taking the time 

to pour onion gravy until it reached

a precarious point on my plate.


Feeling the anticipation of the break, that first tap,

tap of a teaspoon against my Sunday boiled egg.

Cracked, open and bright-eyed. I was ready,

armed with a line of buttered soldiers.



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