Bon Appetit

By Carol Milkuhn

We relax over lunch, sipping Courvoisier floats,
savoring lemon slices sugared in champagne,
while the waiter brings paté spiced with caper berries
and escargot smothered in butter, morsels as

as her opening words. "I’m in love," she confides,
licking butter from her lips. "He’s a dream come true —
an artist, a teacher and — best of all — unattached."
I listen but the Courvoisier intrudes, fruity,

sweet –
all wrong. "He’s been married, of course," she babbles on,
fingers tapping the flute of champagne. "But his wife died –
despite chemo, chemicals and Sloan Kettering."
My wedding band presses against my finger as she

her knife into the mousse and instinct makes me ask,
"How long since her death?" "Just three months," she answers,
spreading mousse on a melba cracker as I wonder,
Would my husband do this to me? No, I tell myself

an escargot, I wouldn’t be replaced in three months. Not in ninety goddamn days! I lay my fork aside,
Escargot untouched, even as she exclaims,
"This champagne is perfect!" The sun seeps through a window,

droplets like quicksilver on my champagne flute, a cool
condensation that ices crystal, reveals my glass
                  to be half empty — or perhaps half full.
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About Carol Milkuhn

A former English teacher, I have spent my retirement pursuing my interest in creative writing. A member of the Mad River Poets, and former Vice President of The Poetry Society of Vermont, I contributed to Pebbles from the Stream and Brighten the Barn.

My poems have also appeared in several publications, including Lyric magazine, Vermont Literary Review, Bloodroot, Time of Singing, and the 1929 Anthology of Vermont Writers published by The League of Vermont Writers. One poem, "Jane Austen, Revisited," won first place in Piano Press Eighth Annual Art of Music Writing Contest, a nationwide competition. 

In addition to writing poetry, I write novels; my agent is currently seeking publication for my novel, The Royal Pawn.

One Comment

  1. Ann B. Day
    Posted May 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Carol Milkuhn’s poem “Bon Appetite” is delightful and appeaing to all the senses. I can taste, hear, see and feel my way through each tatilizing and visual verse. Wonderful twist to the ending. Thank you for publishing this delicious poem. Ann

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