cinnamon toast resnick
Cinnamon Toast, Winter 1954
by Lynne Kemen

Norma cooked cinnamon toast
the first time I tasted it.
It in my hands, me in the wooden chair
at the kitchen table.

A blend of familiar and not.
Toast with zing, cut diagonally
sugar and cinnamon-candy
for breakfast.

With milk: warm, buttery, sparkly, cinnamon
tasted better than the red
and blue wooden sticks chewed from
my tinker toys.
Woody, a Christmas cookie sparkle,
slightly bitter.

Reddish-brown, the crayon
my dad called brick.
Toast didn’t taste like crayon.
Sugar on my face,
stung when Norma struck it off.

Cold milk. Good toast. Bubbles blown,
Norma laughed instead of getting mad
at me.

PHOTO: Cinnamon Toast by Joshua Resnick.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Senses can be strong reminders. In this case, my Aunt Norma gave me my first taste of cinnamon toast. She is now 91, and we both share this happy memory of a perfect after-nap experience.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynne Kemen lives in Upstate New York. Her chapbook, More Than a Handful, was published in 2020. Her work is anthologized in Seeing Things (2020) and What We See on Our Journeys (2021). She is published in Silver Birch Press, The Ravens Perch, Fresh Words Magazine, Spillwords, Topical Poetry, Lothlorien Poetry Journal, and Blue Mountain Review. Lynne stands on the Board of Bright Hill Press. She is an Editor for the Blue Mountain Review and a lifetime member of The Southern Collective Experience. Her second chapbook, Crows Fly at Midnight, will be published in 2023. Visit her at and on Twitter.