Between Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and My Class Enjoys Cooking – Sarah Wimbush

Between Mary Berry’s Baking Bible and My Class Enjoys Cooking

there’s Modern Practical Cookery.
Rebound with Bero paste and bedsheet ribbons,
you relax on the eBay table,
glad of the rest from all that standing.

Unused for years but read, shelved, read,
you remain on the kitchen shelf.
Each splodge, each blown stain
amber on your frosted cover –

pages so brittle, if I let you slip
you would smash across the tiled floor:
Contents, Hors D’oeuvres,
Empire Recipes
; Woman’s Own snippings –

orange sellotape unsticking cuttings,
paper thinned from a million finger turns:
Tripe and Onions, Semolina Soup,
Christmas card bookmarks,

a paper rose, marginalia: ‘my curry’.
Each time, you bustle in reeking
of a thousand crumbles, gingham housecoat,
bombs, birthdays, talc. Kisses

Sarah Wimbush has published two pamphlets: Bloodlines (Seren, 2020) and The Last Dinosaur in Doncaster (Smith|Doorstop, 2021). Her first collection Shelling Peas with My Grandmother in the Gorgiolands will be published by Bloodaxe in 2022. 

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