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Fabulous Buffet
by Marilyn Zelke Windau

Six drawers and two doors it had.
When I got to be the same height as it,
I went exploring.

The drawers were heavy to pull out.
No real surprises there:
tablecloths folded in thirds,
napkins stacked six high,
thin wooden trays used for appetizers,
or health-providing foods when ailing.

The two top drawers held the service ware.
Forks and knives and spoons—
fish course forks, rounded soup spoons,
small dessert spoons, and tiny ones for tea.
It had all been my Aunt Evie’s—
silverware passed on after she did.

But it was those doors that drew me
to the fabulous buffet.
Empty keyholes lured my skinny fingers to poke.
They opened to the real treasures!

China figurines of a pony, a puppy,
elephant, goldfish, a brown bear—
a zoo silently chatting on a shelf.

Spherical glass balls of color were housed
in a gleaming silver bowl.
I held them each to the light
streaming in from the leaded glass windows.

One was facetted with a daisy,
carved on a squared side.
A spectrum of reds and yellows,
blues and greens flickered the walls.
I knew for sure it was Tinkerbell.

Many were the visits, many the discoveries,
quietly, carefully, secretly made
to the fabulous buffet.

PHOTO: Alice in Wonderland Credenza by Gypsy Queen, available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I am a second child, a second daughter, not a firstborn and not the boy. I found myself getting into lots of trouble as a child, the proverbial second child syndrome. I ripped pages out of first edition books, jumped out of the bathtub to run down the street naked, picked all the neighbors’ tulips one spring. I loved exploring closets and cupboards secretly. Hence, the prompt for this poem.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Marilyn Zelke Windau  started writing poems at age 13. A former art teacher, she has written four books of poetry, one self-illustrated, published: Adventures in Paradise (Finishing Line Press), Momentary Ordinary (Pebblebrook Press), Owning Shadows (Kelsay Books), Hiccups Haunt Wilson Avenue ((Kelsay Books). An award-winning author, her work may be found in many journals and anthologies. She includes her maiden name to honor her father, who was also a writer.