Green Brownies


(This poem evolved from notes that I scribbled into the margin
of our Mexican Train score sheet while visiting my friend Gloria.)

Green Brownies

The brownie that she serves me
crumbles when I try to break it into two.
Her sense of humor allows it and so I tease her.
“Gloria, this looks like the kind of food
my grandmother tried to pawn off on us—
weeks old and crusty from the refrigerator.”

“Those chocolate chips were like that when I bought them!”
she insists, even before I question their green tinge.
I think that this is even worse than the alternative,
and say so and we both laugh as she eats her brownie
and I reduce mine to dust. Not a hard task, as it turns out.

She’s had a bad infection for a week or more.
“I’m not contagious,” she insists each time she coughs
a long low rasping rumble that threatens to avalanche.
“Now stop!” she tells the sounds that explode
without permission from her chest.

“Perhaps,” I say, “These brownies are a godsend
and that’s penicillin growing on the chocolate chips.”
Then her deep coughs transform into
gasps of laughter that echo mine.

The young man there to rake the garden
looks up at us and shakes his head
at two old ladies drinking rum and
eating something chocolate,
and it occurs to me that perhaps
what the world sees as senility
is simply evolution
out of adulthood
to a higher

The Prompt: Locked and Sealed.  Can you keep a secret? Have you ever — intentionally or not — spilled the beans (when you should’ve stayed quiet)?  Yes, I must admit that I regularly mine my life with friends and family for topics for my writing.  As a matter of fact, that’s pretty much all I write.  My friend Gloria, however, has no qualms about my writing about this occasion.  In fact,  she insisted I send it off immediately to a local magazine/newspaper whose editor may or may not find it as funny as she did.  With one exception, I’ve had just one friend object to this practice of writing about friends and family.  She has always refused to read anything I’ve written about her.  “You haven’t spilled any of my dirty little secrets, have you?” she says (no small amount of dread in her voice)  every time I tell her I’ve written about her. No, I never would.  The only dirty little secrets I ever reveal are my own!!!

Note:  So amusing that today’s prompt, “Locked and Sealed” takes its title seriously!!!  Its link does not work. For this reason, I’m posting today’s blog in yesterday’s topic and counting down the hours until they discover this.

“How good are you at keeping secrets? Today’s @postaday prompt is Locked and Sealed: 2 hours ago“—This is a quote from the WordPress site.  And yes, the prompt truly is locked and sealed.  9:08 and still, none of us can post on the site.  At least this time they posted the topic.  I imagine by now there are at least 80 bloggers straining at the prompt, ready to spring into action to post as soon as the link works.  To the starting gate, bloggers!

10:58  133 bloggers standing in line to post…still, no link. Locked and Sealed?  Is it April 1 by any chance?

10 thoughts on “Green Brownies

    1. grieflessons Post author

      I know. There have been dozens of times when I’ve noticed I’m the oldest person “there” at some event and instead of feeling out of place have thanked myself for not giving up on new experiences. No, I don’t want to go to a punk concert every weekend, but I’m glad I stood on the fringes of that one mosh pit. Judy


  1. Allenda Moriarty

    I can see you two laughing and cackling and I love the sight. However, I don’t want to hear that Gloria is struggling with a health issue. Give her a few hearty slaps to the back to help her break up that congestions, will you, and tell her they are from me. Also a nice hug. Wish I could take her a plate of FRESH brownies and we could all sit around the train table. All abooooard!


  2. Ann O'Neal Garcia

    the ending turns a funny little poem into a philosophical one. Billy Collins does this, mixes the profound with the inane! It works. I think everything in life is “grist for the mill” as far as authors are concerned. RUN when you see her coming–even if she doesn’t spill dirty little secrets that are not her own. (Actually it is a compliment when someone sees you clearly enough to want to write about you. Evidently you are at least somewhat interesting!)


  3. grieflessons Post author

    I agree, although I’ve never been written about by anyone but myself. Remember, however, when I saw your story about Gretchen in The Sun (You’d written under a pseudonym) and told you I’d read a story about a dog that reminded me of Gretchen? I did that twice. You also wrote one about the schoolroom you taught in that reminded me of my old room at Central and later found out it was my room and you’d written it! Strange thing is that I’d submitted a story about my neighbor’s dog, Angel, that wasn’t accepted, but when I looked for it, I found the story you’d written about my former dog. Ah the world spins in strange directions…J


  4. Ann O'Neal Garcia

    Judy, it’s neat I “used” your wonderful dog for an essay and also wrote about the room you occupied and to which I “floated” but I remember neither! I’ll take you word for it, and I want again to thank you for giving us the most perfect dog a long time ago. I didn’t like being at Central, but oh, man, did I love being in that dog’s arms.



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