Saturday 20 May 2023


by Penny Perry

You tell the Helms Bakery driver  
 your mother died. Her account closed.   

You watch the blue and yellow truck
trundle down the street
stealing the last of the sweet smell
of bread and cake.

Your own life has crumbled like the palm-
sized cardboard truck, from a long ago
bakery field trip.
I want to tell you more sweets will come.
Even now Suzie, who you stopped talking to,
her wheat-colored cardigan flapping,
is running up the street to comfort you.

I want to tell you, how years from now
your grown daughter will buy you
a concha at a Mexican market.
Pink coconut will fill your mouth

and you’ll remember those Saturdays
you and your mother stepped timidly
into the bakery truck.

The Helmsman opened the dessert drawer,
showed off glazed and sprinkled donuts.
Some Saturdays you and your mother
chose cream puffs, white cream oozed
from puffs of everyday popover dough.

* * * * *                                                                              

Penny Perry, a seven-time Pushcart nominee, has two collections of poetry, Santa Monica Disposal and Salvage and Woman with Newspaper Shoes both from Garden Oak Press. New work is forthcoming in Lips, The Paterson Literary Review and The San Diego Poetry Annual. She was one of the first female screenwriters at The American Film Institute. She is a fiction and non-fiction editor at Knot Literary Journal.

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