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Poetry Pleases: Making Devonshire Pasties

So why does she bake those Devonshire pasties when she could buy them ready-made? Joyce Moon’s wise poem reveals the reason.

‘Why do you bother,’ he says,
‘when you can buy them so
easily nowadays?’
He has seen her old hands
shake a little
as she weighs the flour
sifts it into the mixing bowl
holding the sieve high
watching the white cascade
bounce to the bottom of the
bowl.
She looks at him softly.

‘So much trouble,’ he mutters,
‘when you could make their visit
easier for yourself.’
Her hands plough and rub,
not so swiftly as when they were
her children, always hungry
from racing along Devon Lanes;
no choice, in those days
but to bake with no complaints
to feed her boys, long gone
from their roots now.

‘They don’t expect you to do
all this
you know,’ he wanders back,
his dinner getting later,
‘not at your age.’
She is crimping the edges,
glazing with beaten egg.
She turns her head to one side
and sighs
- not as neat as they once
were perhaps. ‘They look
good anyway,’ he says
grudgingly,
‘but there’s no need.’

She watches him shuffle
somewhere out of her way.
She doesn’t expect him to
understand
that she has a need to bake
them
a need sometimes to take them
back to their childhood.
She doesn’t expect him to
understand
that she has a need sometimes
just to be their Mum - again.

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