Shattered Gingerbread: An Ode to Shaky Shattered Sugar

By Kelly Grace Thomas

 

After all the holidays are spent, belts have loosen and the snowstorm,

like little white feet kicking at that ground, grounding flights,

remind us we have no control, we build.

Construct our sugarous ode. 

It’s true, our Gingerbread house will never be pretty,

we have dealt with that fact.

Used a hot glue gun where there should have been confection.  

Instead of cavities we will have calking.

Award kitsch and accessorize, remind us that a good sense of humor goes a long way,

farther than perfectly trimmed rooftops.

The Gingerbread house was supposed to be loved,

the family project that would keep us at the table,

thirty minutes longer after dinner that night.

It’s structure was built. The father a project manager, the oldest daughter the visionary.

The youngest a skeptic.

And after the filet arrived medium rare and graham cracker crusted cheesecake

danced between diabetic and decadent, the fall of the house of ginger began.

 

On a hard wood floor swept all to cleanly, in the hands of a mother, trying to clean up the contagious house

guest  clutter, it shattered like stained glass at war time.

 The roof, the doors, the foundation jigsawed themselves, parted into pieces of apology.

One week later, in post-new year’s pity, with a mother who won’t shut up about weddings,

we have created a Frankenstein cottage.

On January 2, spackled and exhausted, we decorate the best we can.

Take turns with tacky, wish the holidays back, as outside wintergreen turns to spearmint.

“Im putting down the gun,” my mother says. “Shubbery is not so easy, is it?”

“I having a Hersey’s Kiss to deal with the stress.”

“We all are,” I say, as the hard candy speaks of this year’s American Hustle influence.

There is something to be said about plastic stepping in for sugar.

Something so real about the way it broke, slid across a compass of oak, that wild geese in search of

somewhere warm.  

Like we needed to put it back together again,

flaws and fractured flavors,

needed to build with love instead of beauty,

just to know, for once, it was possible.