French Toast
by Don Kingfisher Campbell

I’m not French
but I love
French Toast
— started in childhood

my father would pick up
normal everyday
Wonder slices
and drop them

into a porcelain bowl
that looked like it belonged
in an early 60’s TV show
I think I saw one on Bewitched

anyway, after floating
and being turned twice
in the pure egg pool
touched by cream

my father’s fingers
would forklift a slice
into the round black pan
into that familiar Crisco sizzle

where three ultimately faced each other
waiting for their turn
when their surface sounded
brown and crispy

then the flip
and you knew it was good
if you saw dark freckles
dominate the eggs

this was the single sliced version
my father’s Saturday morning best
but after church on Sunday
I discovered the double density

delight of thick restaurant
slices decorated with powdered sugar
that happily swam in syrup
as my fork sopped up

a dripping mouthful of…ultra bread
bread perfection
bread you can no longer call
bread anymore

French Toast
though I’ve never been to France
I guess they must love to fry
French Toast, French Fries, French Dressing, French Kiss

Oh…I always get carried away
when I relive my favorite childhood
the one I order on any slow morning
with a cherished day off

whenever I have a need
for a mental vacation
I travel…to a pancake house
and lay on my tongue a syrupy crust

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My sister and myself (with animal cracker), May 1962.


Don Kingfisher Campbell
, MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, has been a coach and judge for Poetry Out Loud, a performing poet/teacher for Red Hen Press Youth Writing Workshops, Los Angeles Area Coordinator and Board Member of California Poets In The Schools, publisher of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly, leader of the Emerging Urban Poets writing and Deep Critique workshops, organizer of the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, and host of the Saturday Afternoon Poetry reading series in Pasadena, California. For publication credits, please go to: