Petite Madeleine, cakey mound,

What message do you contain for my tongue?

My aunt sits wondering why I pause—

Not for her pause: she has been anticipating,

And savouring the scent from the kitchen,

Knowing that knowing is never enough;

Tasting must be done

And that will only await the pouring of the

Russian Caravan.

Now she does not pause, but bites little Madeleine,

She closes her eyes and her jaws work slowly:

Entranced, entrained, as I will be

(But allow no movement of my steadied hands,

Lest spoil the moment for her).

Then dip the little lady into the warm tea,

And bite, so slowly, so lovingly,

To read cook’s message—she told me there would be one—

Will it be a filling? A spice? How will she tittilate?

Almond! Oh, almond!

Heavenly Madeleine, heavenly cook!

What celestial kitchen realm

You govern with your secret science.

And your oven’s issue: lighter than the feather,

Lighter by far than that which

The cold consort Marie commanded that they eat.

Sweet Madeleine, I am yours to command.

What? Another bite? I sigh.

Copyright ©  Peter Twohig. All rights reserved.