When I was too young to cook or bake
Mother did it all. Her kitchen was small,
so I was kept out. But I was pleased enough
back then to play and simply enjoy her baking.
I was 'just' a growing boy; no reason to worry.
But when her birth family came for tea
out came the mince pies from their tins
and the jam tarts made with home made jam,
which often displeased her family
Not long after them there would follow
the repeated preemtive complaint
'Fresh baking disagrees with me',
as if her pastries had the power of speech.
Mother would then have to disclose
when the batch of baking was done,
which made her feel smaller than she was
-between being pastries being 'too fresh'
and potentially stale there was no sweet spot
where the visiting relative felt that Mother's pastries
were not being argumentative.
The curious point was how often
these relatives had to eat the pastries
to prove how they disagreed with their maker,
as if disagreement was all they had in common,