How to Cook and Serve a Husband
by Suzanne O’Connell

A new husband may have a high altitude.
In the beginning, one layer may form a hard crust,
or be too thin,
or form a hump in the middle.

But, ask yourself,
how often have you quickly obtained perfection?
It is always important to plan ahead!
Never forget: “the stomach is the seat of courage.”

In the cottage kitchen or the great house
on the hill,
it is important to try to prepare
a dainty and appropriate meal!

If, however, something burns,
or hardens before you spread it,
or is not an attractive combination,
never fear!

New husbands can benefit from tender endearments.
Feed their tender hearts if not their hungry
The prudent wife who fails in the kitchen
may choose to extend one of the following bon mots
of affection:

You are my lightening biscuit
You are my plump sweetbread
You are my nut bar
You are my hot molasses
You are my tropiceroma
You are my golden glow
You are my apple bun
You will forever be my royal educator!

PHOTO: From The Cook’s Book published by K.C. Baking Powder. The recipe is for K.C. Cream Cake.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This is a found poem with phrases and names of sweet confections borrowed from cookbooks my grandmother used when she was first married in 1916. I have always been fascinated by the outmoded recipes, strange ingredients, and especially by the mentoring tone in many of the cookbooks that stressed the importance of a woman’s role in the kitchen. The books I used were: The Brides Cookbook, Cooking For Two, and Anyone Can Bake.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Suzanne O’Connell lives in Los Angeles, where she is a poet and a clinical social worker. Her work can be found in Forge, Atlanta Review, Crack The Spine, Lummox Journal, The Louisville Review, Blue Lake Review, G.W. Review, Reed Magazine, Permafrost, Mas Tequila Review, The Round, The Griffin, Sanskrit, Foliate Oak, Talking River, Organs of Vision and Speech Literary Magazine, Willow Review, The Tower Journal, Poetry Super Highway, Thin Air Magazine, Fre&d, The Manhattanville Review, poeticdiversity, The Evansville Review, Serving House Journal, Silver Birch Press, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Licking River Review. She was a recipient of Willow Review’s annual award for 2014 for the poem “Purple Summers.” She is a member of Jack Grapes’ L.A. Poets and Writers Collective. Visit her at