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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 1, March 2017
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Pat Tompkins
San Mateo, California, USA


Aunt Ginger

She'd failed at dating, which had then involved getting taken out to dinner. The price of the meal meant she was dessert, and she thought she was worth more. She bought her own sweets—cheesecake, baklava, macaroons. And sometimes she cooked fresh fruit. No elaborate frosted concoctions from pastry shops could match the aroma of simmering berries. She lived alone, and her wages went to rent. So she kept treats occasional; otherwise they weren't treats. Besides, buying larger clothes was not an option.

In her youth, she ate whatever she wanted—toffee, fudge, butterscotch pudding. Now she follows the adage "Gluttony is not a secret vice." Exercise and moderation: old-fashioned, but she is content. Especially with a decent piece of pie.

this field
where she picked blackberries
for jam . . .
thirty years have passed,
nothing left to harvest


Author's Note: "Gluttony is not a secret vice" is attributed to Orson Welles.

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