Her birthday cake was verily a sight—
A work of art, a sugary-sweet confection,
That much to all the revelers’ delight,
The baker decorated to perfection.

It brought a special twinkle to her eye,
To see it topped with flowers freshly-picked,
But when the reddest-red she did espy,
What happened next, no one could predict.

“A rose is a rose is a rose,” she boldly said,
And gingerly she roused one from its bed.
She popped it in her mouth with great aplomb,
And washed it down with goodly swigs of rum,
Then smacked her lips with frosting she had licked.

A relative then gaped, as if struck dumb.
“I can’t believe she ate a rose! Incredible!”
The birthday girl replied, “A rose is edible.”



Cheryl Corey’s recent credits include the current issue of Iconoclast and www.grand-little-things.com. Other publications include Iambs & Trochees, Deronda, The NeoVictorian/Cochlea, The Comstock Review, Mobius, and Time of Singing. In 2007 she received 1st Place for the Dylan Thomas Award and Honorable Mention for the June Kraeft Memorial Award in The World Order of Narrative and Formalist Poets contest.

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13 Responses

  1. paul buchheit

    ..washed it down with rum.. Love it! Very clever and colorful poem, Cheryl.

  2. Cheryl Corey

    Thank you, Mr. Mantyk, for the gorgeous accompanying artwork!!

  3. Cheryl Corey

    I’m glad that you enjoyed it, Paul. I was inspired by an article about edible flowers – nasturtiums and violets (usually candied for decoration), to name a few. I know you can fry zucchini flowers too, although I’ve never tried them.

  4. Pat Marciano

    Cheryl what a great poem, I loved it. You are so talented!

  5. Ryan Watch

    This is a well baked cake of a poem, sprinkled with saccharine rhymes and iced with a perfectly twist ending. A job well done for making this sweet surprise Ms. Corey!

  6. C.B. Anderson

    The Rose family (Rosaceae) is a highly edible botanical family. It includes the genera Prunus, Malus, Pyrus, and Fragaria, (plums & cherries, apples, pears, and strawberries, respectively). Rosewater is sometimes used to flavor Turkish coffee and is always used to flavor Jordan almonds, but it is never toxic. This was a clever poem.

    • Cheryl Corey

      I knew that you would have this horticultural knowledge at your fingertips! The edible (and not to mention medicinal) qualities of plants is a fascinating topic. Thank you for this insight.

  7. Ryan Watch

    I can confirm with the facts you’ve stated Mr. Andersons, as I have once had the opportunity to taste a rose cake.

    I remember the fragrant aroma of the cake and the savoury taste of the rose garnish. It was truly one of the most unique and flavorsome desserts I have ever tasted!

    • Cheryl Corey

      Wow! Who can say that they’ve eaten a rose cake? Not me. That’s a real conversation piece.

  8. Daniel Kemper

    I especially enjoyed reading this out loud, the words made my mouth “smack” the way eating such delights does — although my throat didn’t burn like rum does.

    😉 so I promptly read your poem again and alleviated that! 😉

    • Cheryl Corey

      I’m glad that it gave you enough pleasure to read it twice. I recently worked my way through an anthology, reading each poem aloud. I feel that it adds to the experience, to hear the music of words.


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