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The Problem of Doughnuts

Meghan Punschke

He ordered the Baker's Dozen,
but to his chagrin,
what was supposed to have been
a melodious blend of doughnuts
turned out to be
          just jellies and éclairs.

he declared both equally delicious,
but could not hide his
for he had anticipated
a bear claw
                    or an apple fritter.

As he sat there,
on his usual park bench—
faced with
          the problem of doughnuts,
he pawed at the box,
and contemplated this gross error.


The puffed choux paste of
        three         erect        éclairs.
delicately rose above the others,
in sophisticated air.

The first,            a custard,
had tawny icing that glistened
        golden, in the morning sun.
He grazed his finger across the top
and discovered,
                  Belgian Butterscotch.
But, he dared not eat it,
despite its foreign intrigue.
For he would certainly want more,
        which he could not afford.

The others were lighter—
        filled with whipped cream.
He thought that
        one could easily digest fifty,
                and still feel empty.
This,   was unjustifiable.

And yet,
it seemed unfair for such
a confectionary delight to be
   cramped in the same quarters
                as the basic pastries.

He noted that—
        the baker took great care
in plumping up those éclairs,
but the jellies had been
pumped full
                in an assembly line,
then thrown into a massive vat,
where they fried until they were fat.

A jelly never had a chance
                at being an éclair.
It could have been
           baked instead of fried.
It could have been
          jammed with raspberry
          instead of grape,
          or even orange marmalade,
   ne'r a fancy vanilla pastry cream.

One particular jelly
          had a puncture wound,
(a casualty of mass production)
          it oozed jeweled contents,
onto two adjacent comrades.
For some reason,
          this slightly sickened him,
and they were deemed unfit
for consumption.
          He surveyed the other seven.

One of the whipped éclairs
was lightly dusted
          with the powder of its enemy,
and in some sort of retaliation,
elitist           éclair          icing,
had rubbed off onto the
          entire jelly section.
          These, were          unacceptable.


He grew weary with hunger,
          on this ill-spent morning.
And so, the time had come,
          to do what had to be done.

Despite their flaws,
It seemed there was more potential
in jellies.
                    He ate three.

Meghan Punschke

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