I learned in high school that anyone who writes 144 sonnets can claim the cultured title of “sonneteer”. No one ever specified any criteria as to the artistic merit of these poems, only that they had to follow the right rules of length, rhythm, rhyme. So, of course, I took up the challenge—wouldn’t any senior?
There came a day in early spring when I wrote my last one…and promptly gave up sonnets forever. Nobody gave me any prizes for my amateur efforts, in fact few people ever saw them, but I have lived the rest of my life with the inner gratification that only comes from the knowledge that one is a true sonneteer. Surely that must have helped me through a difficult time. (I just can’t think at the moment which one.)
Well, today, ten minutes ago, in fact, I scaled another mountain, won another title…and somewhere there should be bands playing….at least a drum roll…
I just made my 144th pumpkin roll this year, and yes, I can safely say I’m an expert in that field. I can tell you what a pumpkin roll looks like when you forget the sugar—thin and not too tasty; when you accidently put in twice as many eggs as you should—thick and delicious but absolutely impervious to rolling. I’ve seen gooey, runny…lumpy, funny. Thick and thin ones, doubled-in ones, on the floor ones, out the door ones…and with that I announce my retirement as a pumpkin roll chef. It’s over. Forever.
Ode to a Pumpkin Rolleteer
I've seen a cloud of powdered sugar rise
Whenever a sheet of pumpkin cake turns out,
And lightly--oh so lovely--how it lies
In sticky splendor, dusted all about.
I've cracked a hundred eggs; I've whipped them too,
And balanced sugar with a lemon dash,
Yet, whether all alone, or with a crew,
I've wondered if the work was worth the cash.
My kitchen's really sticky and my floor
Is altogether speckled reddish-brown.
My feet refuse to function anymore;
And I'm not standing up. I'm sitting down.
In vain say "Pretty please with sugar on it"
No pumpkin rolls. I'd rather write a sonnet.
And that aptly expresses how I feel about pumpkin rolls at the moment.