by James B. Nicola

WAS I SUPPOSED to wrap it up and save it
instead of eating it, for goodness' sake?
You can't eat cake, thought I, unless you have it.
That's how it is with all food, not just cake.

If they meant I should swipe my little brother's
so I'd have one to have, one to inhale,
one of the two would really be another’s.
And anyway, the saved one would get stale.

I saw this way back when and never cheated
my brother. Recently we talked things through
and he explained, They didn't mean "Don't eat it,"
but "You can't eat your cake and have it, too."

How clever he's become. How glad I am,
never to have incurred his vengeful wrath.
My twins adore him and his fancy cam-
era—he takes their birthday photograph

and frames a print for us, 8 x 11,
each year, the birthday cake the center piece.
Today he brought two extras, 5 x 7,
one for his nephew and one for his niece.

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