The kitchen is orange and smells
of butter, burned sultana, hope.
Outside, an owl rises amongst trees.
Moths batter at the window,
under the moustache of steam
obscuring its glassy upper lip.
This is the first baking in over thirty years
in this kitchen, the first making of cakes,
and they are flat, a plateau
instead of mountains, a wold
in biscuit. I can taste
disappointment in each uncragged bite.
A vixen screeches sympathy over the valley
as I eat beneath umbrellad yew trees,
stare at the creamy smear of orange tea
hung in my cup like a full moon behind clouds.
I must stiffen the mixture. A measure in each mouthful.
The time of day rubbed into each baking. A jay's
screamed alarm in with the sultanas. Sunlight like cinnamon.
The night made chocolate, the dawn creaming
in my fingers like sugar and butter, rising
sharp as a spring in the high peaks of cake.