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Pastry Islands

When Helen makes cheese straws
and rolls her pastry with a rolling pin,
islands appear beneath her hands.
Sometimes their form I recognise from maps:
Tasmania, Ireland, Iceland.
Sometimes I see miniatures
of whole small islands I’ve looked down on from the air:
Jersey, or the Isle of Man, the crinkly edges
corrugated coastlines — promontories and bays —
attended by a thin white strip of surf.
Each passage of the rolling pin reveals a new found land.
If one’s unrecognisable, I think of sketch-map islands
which I used to draw on wet days in the holidays,
complete with castles, harbours, villages and towns:
remote, ideal republics I’d created and controlled.
Helen interrupts these cogitations with a knife
which cuts away my latest fancy’s coastal regions,
leaving just an inland quadrilateral to segment into straws.
She doesn’t waste the seaward districts of imagination, though:
they go for rocky doughballs which, twelve minutes later, I’ll eat first.