(Cake and Candles ) This is Not a Poem.

He blew out the candles atop the pile of dough with doubt in his eyes. The smoke rising to the ceiling as he looked at his feet. Blessings and wishes are only for the ones who can stand waiting and never receiving. He said to himself. “Where does the grant come from if not someplace real that doesn’t know who I am and doesn't hear my soft childish whisper in want?” If the place from which wishes are granted is real, why hadn’t any of his previous wishes come true? At age 11, his childish, hopeful mind began to leave him to be replaced by the doubt and fear that haunts every aged person. He began the journey away from the soft, kind, untethered soul of a child, to a broken, burdened man. Little did the ones at his party know he became a man the moment he blew out the flames. The cake was a symbol. Cake and candles. They aren’t about birth, they are about death. Each year blowing out candles into wax blobs where childhood flames once burned. Sugar and fat prepare the body for an ultimate death by nutritional cause. They sing the tune over and over to the boy. The song that was made to remind children that time is of the essence. It’s eerie notes penetrate his heart and turn him into dust with each word. He fakes a smile and laugh, wishes for that toy that every 11 year old boy wants these days. Too scared to wish for what he really wanted. Too doubtful that it could ever be. Everyone cheers but inside, this child is changed. In the breath of his mouth, with the puff of candle smoke, he blew away the last bit of his make believe.


  • matt15rsp

    I like how you take something typically light and fun and make it feel heavy, you can almost feel the weight on the character, especially with the titular Cake and Candles line. I'm intruiged to see more

  • MaddieJ

    Well, thank you matt! I enjoy twisting things that are seen one way in culture, and imagining them in the opposite light. It makes for a fun writing topic, as well as a new perspective on things in life. Something to giggle to myself about once in a while... Anyway, thanks again for reading! Perhaps I will post a part two!

  • Joe Dawson

    Such dour pondering and at 11 too, I think it possible your excellent character must be en route to become in later life, a scientist or something in the White House. Such deep questions from one so young, I bet he's the life and soul of every party, but nonetheless, he is who he is, and a very astute young man indeed. This piece makes one think, reverse the coin as it where, and in so doing answer many questions from childhood still left unanswered. A captivating write, part two perhaps soon? Inspiring work. Joe

    • MaddieJ

      Indeed! He is a ripe young fellow. Thanks for stopping by and having a look-see Joe! I am pleased that you enjoyed the character and hope that he turns into so much more as my short story begins to form. He is highly intelligent, an old soul. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. It is much appreciated as every minute of everyday is precious, I am glad that some choose to spend them reading my work. (Part two pending.) -Maddie

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