Dave Luker πŸ”ˆ

Secret Ingredient

After the recipe writing challenge.

I haven’t given up on trying to give a telling,
a good one even, of how I came by my pie crust,
usually saying, in Maybell, a town near Craig,
mentioning Rosie, the antelope poacher, and owner
of Victory CafΓ© who refused recipe requests

made during meals after work paving
in the National Monument access roads,
where the rock layers in Yampa canyon
awed rafters paddling on snowmelt waters,
until the day the converted buses arrived

with longhairs leaning on windows asking
where to park their caravan for the night
before heading east to start a commune
and one long-skirted, bare-bosom hippie
offers a gas money ride back to Boulder

but I’m conflicted without the pastry secret,
as I sit by the trophy head on Rosie’s fireplace,
facing the swinging doors to the kitchen,
as she carries in rhubarb pie, pinkish and veined,
like chapped hands of the cowboy clientele.

I add to the usual sugary appreciations
a new twist, the sacrifice of my own mother,
her cooking the worst, causing Rosie’s eyes to flick
to the mantle, before declaring, Bacon grease!
and admonishing my disrespect as I shoulder

my pack to hike away, only to find the bus missing
but still, I took flakey delights to many a get-together,
pies with the signature tale, that is until someone
asked, Does your crust actually use bacon fat?
fessed me, turned off my oven for quite a while.

But next time, I’ll be baking lemon tart,
it’s about the curd, with embellishments.

Author Reading

About the Author

Dave Luker is a poet and educator. At numerous universities, he has developed courses and retention programs to ensure the success of students who are first generation or low income, and students with disabilities. Previously he founded a hiking company, as well as taught poetry to high school students.