“Cake with My Two-Year-Old Daughter” by John Hansen

I ask if she’s ready,
smiling, I raise my fork to hers
as if clinking for a toast.

She sits expectantly;
the predator salivates, pounces,
out to ambush sprinkles.

Her mouth, like a goldfish’s,
inhales a sliver of cake,
exhales extra to the plate.

I, not any neater, swallow con-
fectioner’s sugar down a wrong pipe, cough up
crumbs near her placemat.

Giggling a while, she watches
as I take another piece, attentive
only with what I will eat.

I take her on my lap, about to offer
a last bite, she grabs the chunk—splat!
Grin on her lips, cake on mine.

John Hansen received a BA in English from the University of Iowa and an MA in English Literature from Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Summerset Review, Verse-Virtual, Trouvaille Review, One Sentence Poems, Eunoia Review, Amethyst Review, and elsewhere. He is English Faculty at Mohave Community College in Arizona. Read more at johnphansen.com.