Holiday treat – Jackie Biggs

Holiday treat

It is far too tall,
bigger than a secret she can never know.
She looks up and up
and still can’t see the top.
A tiny Alice in a bad dream,
she has no hope of reaching the starting place.

With a hand clenched tight
she tries to control the longest spoon she can ever imagine.
Windows stream with the hot breath of damp customers
and the noisy steam of the coffee machine
in the plastic-clad milk bar.

Inside her misty glass
bright cherry sauce
curls around pure white ice cream,
sticky with tiny splodges of fruit
and layers of red gloop –
all the sweetness she cannot taste.

He finds a smaller spoon,
holds the glass lower,
watches her.

Melting ice cream
dribbles down the outside
over her fisted fingers,
sticky as glue.
She needs the long spoon
to forage.
She wants to consume it all,
for him,
every last glob,
right down to the cherry
at the very bottom.

Syrup is
a cloying mass in her mouth.
Her big teary eyes look up to him
above lips smeared with red.
She so wants his approval.


Jackie Biggs has had poetry published in many magazines and anthologies, both print and online, including Clear Poetry, Three Drops from a Cauldron, Picaroon, Poetry24.  She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first collection is The Spaces in Between (Pinewood Press, 2015). Blog:  Twitter: @JackieNews

One thought on “Holiday treat – Jackie Biggs

  1. This is beautiful. The imagery reminds me so much of my own childhood. My mother would always take me for lunch when i had to go back,to boarding school at the beginning of each term. The food was was as good as you describe but it was always tinged with great sadness.


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