Flavor Town USA Poetry: “The Sugar Eaters” from THE DUST THAT SINGS by Alex Gregor

they was sittin round the fireplace sippin tea & eatin fruitcake on crushed velvet divans with bronze claw feet on oriental rugs, when the maid walked in with a silver tray weighed down with a heaping mound of sugar cubes.

the headmaster of the school, seated between the principals, waved her hand in the maid’s direction.

bring me some of that sugar, would ya hun?

the maid stepped up, dipped a spoon into the pile & dropped a cube into the headmaster’s cup. 

honey, the headmaster said. i ain’t no child, give me a fair helpin would ya?

the principals, tickled pink, giggled.

the maid shoveled another spoonful into the headmaster’s cup, and then another. she must’ve added a dozen cubes before the headmaster picked up her spoon and stirred.

sugar, ladies? the headmaster asked.

why of course! said one of the principals.

please! said the other.

as the maid dropped the cubes into their cups, the high school principal blurted out:

i just don’t understand how we ever drank our tea without our sugar, girls!

my dear, said the primary school principal, taking a slurp. the same way we used to drink our water before there were tea leaves!

to this, the heads of the headmistress and principals rolled with laughter, exposing the little brown stubs in their mouths that were teeth.

to this, the maid, still dropping in the cubes, grinned.

Also from THE DUST THAT SINGS

“The Hourglasses”

“The Lowcountry Chef”

“The Animal Garden”

“The Bloated Whale & The Barfly”

“The Shrimpboat Captain”

Alex Gregor is a writer, editor, and educator from Atlanta, Georgia, currently living in Rome, Italy. He is one of the founding editors of OOMPH! Press, the banjo player in the band, The Ship & The Swell, and a member of the Department of English Language & Literature at John Cabot University. Find out more at marginalcomets.com.

Image: Reggia di Caserta

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