Bellows Falls Annual Pie Bake-Off

Before the asylum Mrs. Moloney won
the pie bake-off at the baseball jamboree
ten years in a row. The preacher’s wife,
Jesus in her blood like itching powder,
used God works in mysterious ways
as a greeting and an answer.

After six years the green stamp
thumped the discharge papers,
the doctors were able to give the dress
to her husband, after she could hold
eye contact and say her son’s name out loud.

She resumed baking, church, watching baseball,
but her pies were too bitter for reinvention.
She cried a continuous stream of tears during
Sunday service. At games she would cross her legs
after the first inning, knees ragged with prayer,
only parent there without a child.

As she collected another win,
the town’s sympathy pinned to her chest,
Mrs. Moloney collapsed through the folding table.
Her husband lurched down the stands
as if he could catch the scene,
stand it back up, and save the day.

Clot lodged, chest still, covered in pie fillings—
Mr. Maloney digging at his arms crying to God.
Pies mapping another tragedy on her dress.

Maranda Greenwood is a poet who lives in Vermont. She will be graduating from Arcadia University with her MFA in Creative Writing in May 2018.

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2 Responses to Bellows Falls Annual Pie Bake-Off

  1. A very nice narrative, some excellent imagery.

  2. Ron. says:

    This other NEK poet thoroughly enjoyed this well-told tale immensely. Salute!

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