by Libby Hanssen

There are in my cupboard seven sugars:

White, brown, powdered,
Waiting in big green jars that never go empty
A vulgar ostentation, Colonial manifestation
Of the subjugation of cane and beet

Molasses, unsulphured,
Smelly, sticky, dense goo
That drips and smears, leaving rings on the counter,
What’s left of second-press sweetness

Belizean honey with chunks of comb
Imported illegally in a plastic soda bottle
Shipped legally to underdeveloped worlds
In need of obesity

Karo syrup
For making my grandmother’s Divinity
Glistening white confection I have never mastered
The trick of spinning strands of boiling liquid
Into brittle pearls

Jagged, glittering crystals
Spilling like tiny, unpolished topaz
The color of my wedding dress
On a sweet May day.

Categories: Poetry