That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles
(circa 1960)
by Susan Mahan

Nine-year old Susan Dailey’s mother
made tollhouse cookies from scratch.
That was the big incentive
for me to learn to bake when I got married.
I remembered the texture
of the melted chips in those warm cookies.

Susan and I were best friends back then.
I always wanted more cookies than Mrs. Dailey offered,
but I never would have asked for them.
It would have been impolite to be piggy,
and I had to keep the reputation
of the Catholics in good standing.
My friend’s family was Protestant.

I felt bad that
they wouldn’t be in Heaven
with me after we all died.
They were misguided, but nice people, after all.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: Thanksgiving dinner at Auntie Phyll’s house, 1961. I am in the second row from the top, sitting amongst my siblings and cousins. I am the one smiling, with dimples, age 10.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My friend and I lived in South Boston back then, a city that was largely Catholic. My friend’s father was a Protestant minister, a factor that led me to worry about the family’s future!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Mahan has been writing poetry since her husband died in 1997. She wanted to be a writer as a kid, but life got in the way. She has now written over 350 poems and has gotten many of them published.