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Chocolate Cake

I wrote this poem a few years ago when Tyler and I were dating. I was attending a writers' workshop and the writing prompt was simply to write an "I believe..." piece. This poem was the end result. A few months later, I liked this poem well enough that I featured it in our wedding program.

Chocolate Cake

Shannon VanZegeren


I believe in cake (round ones and chocolate ones).


I believe in a wedge that lays on its side

on a small plate

with a silver fork resting beside it.


I believe in layers (in cakes and in clothing).


I believe in the sweet ribbon of fudge frosting

that runs down the middle

and artfully covers the top and side.


I believe in the icing on the cake (literally and figuratively).


I believe you can have too much,

but that there should be cake

and frosting in every bite.


I believe in a hot, and I mean hot, cup of coffee (in the summer and the winter).


I believe in pouring it into a mug steaming,

and swirling it into a sweet shade of creamy tan,

with soy milk that has frothed bubbles to the top.


I believe in spoons (sugar spoons and silver spoons).


I believe in stirring and the sound

that tingles around and around

the perimeter of the mug.


I believe in the man who takes a bite (slowly and thoughtfully).


I believe in his sincerity

when he raises the mug and

nods to calmly say “It’s good.”


I believe in companionship (short-term and long-term).


I believe in laughs,

and subtle clanks of silverware,

and crinkled napkins folded under plates.


I believe in warmth (internal and external).


I believe in holding that mug

to warm my hands

because he’s the one warming my heart.


I believe in love (as in, “I love cake” and “I love him”).


I believe that love is quiet

and comes in the moments

of just living.


I believe in comfort (physically and emotionally).


I believe in bare feet

propped on the edge of his chair,

and the hand that comes down to affirm my presence.


I believe in all-things-in-balance (just enough and just right).


I believe in full stomachs,

so full, you can’t finish the last two bites,

even though in the beginning, the slice didn’t look big enough.


I believe in leftovers (leftover coffee and leftover cake).


I believe in holding the moment,

that even though we’re done, we talk

for another hour, then two.


I believe bedtimes (early ones and late ones).


I believe in cutting off a bite-sized piece of cake

before covering the pedestal with glass

and calling it a night.



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