The Croissant by Laura Foley

The Croissant

My wife has baked croissants
as a Sunday treat,
in this odd time of quarantine,
days made tasteless by isolation,
and the jam is raspberry,
gleaming redly at me in morning sun.
One buttery, flaky moment
on the tongue returns me
to twenty-three,
to the Hungarian Café on Amsterdam,
tucked into the blanketing shadow
of St. John the Divine.
The jam I taste today
is not tart raspberry,
but the honeyed apricot
the café served then,
as Clara and I watch
church on a phone
propped against a book,
as the pastor, our friend,
intones kind words
for the loss of our shepherd Alys,
while a candle he lit for her
flickers in the empty church
that gently echoes his words,
as the last bite crackles
against my palate
and melts in the nave
of mouth—this bit of now.
We struggle all day to stay
in place, as some instinct
teases us to stray—illusory
as memory’s preserves—
till this flaky bite
of just here, just now,
this crispy crumb
of all that’s left,
butters the tongue.

by Laura Foley, first appeared in The Quaranzine

Editor’s Note: The imagery of this poem appears and reappears, grounding the reader in both present and past, in order to teach the reader to live in the moment.

2 thoughts on “The Croissant by Laura Foley

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