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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Children's · #1704493
Baking a birthday cake - Writer's Cramp entry (amended)

Like a drunken sailor leaning lightly on a dockside wall
it wobbled jauntily on the granite counter,
good intentions warring with
the inebriated insouciance of his sangria-slicked fingers
haplessly layering frosted ballerina figurines
and radiant, radioactively pink and yellow roses
onto the slip-sliding monstrous mountain
of sugar and cake,
bedecked and bejeweled in a way only
a newly nine-year old princess could love,
patiently if haphazardly baked into submission
by the clumsy care of a blacksmith’s hands, an attempt
to fill the inescapable, inevitable yearning for
a woman’s touch, a mother’s hug,
through a confectioner’s artistry, to distance themselves
from the dreadful days after her sudden death. 

She wandered into the kitchen, this
creature of whimsy and joy who called him father,
and broke into tears at the sight of it, the tilt pronounced,
a cake on the verge,
tears that broke the little good left inside him
until she bounded into his arms, delight dancing across
her plucked and painted face, whispering, “I really wanted a cake this year
like mami used to make I can’t believe you did this I love you
so much how did you this is amazing my friends will love it I can
still have my party right,” hugging him fiercely, the words
running together in a thickening stream of anguished happiness
or happy anguish, the moment photo perfect. 

Of course it broke with him
gasping and gesturing hopelessly,
helplessly as the top-half of the cake
completed its headlong dive,
ballerina limbs and rose petals competing with chocolate
to stain the counters, the floor, with sticky goodness. 

“Oh my god that was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen
daddy look did you see how it just went boom kusplat and bam
cake all over the floor,” her little hands gesticulating wildly, the sight
pinching at the corner of his memories,
of her mother doing the same,
distracting him from the twinkle of trouble, the frosting
she dabbed on his nose unexpectedly sweet, the convulsions
of laughter that bubbled between them the best
birthday gift he could have given her.
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