Pot Luck Supper: Aunt Lavinia Strikes
by Fred Chappel

Aunt Wilma’s fabled spoon bread sits
Beside Aunt Martha’s perennial grits;
Here Sissie’s chicken á la king
Companions Darla’s Jell-O ring,
While Cousin Willoughby has brought in
A gay attempt at haute cusine,
And next–the terror of the soul:
Aunt Lavinia’s casserole.

The years come round and, as they do,
Cousin Barney’s Irish stew
Will return again somehow
To take an undeserving bow.
Along with Mother Elsie’s bread,
A stone to commemorate the dead,
Like the victims we enroll
Under “Aunt Lavinia’s Casserole”.

Uncle Zeph asks blessings on
The peach preserves and crisp cornpone
Aunt Matilda so tediously made,
And the zucchini marmalade
Brought by crazy Uncle McGhee
He includes democratically;
But his blessing is not whole–
It omits the casserole.

Or else it’s what our family
Will bequeath to all eternity:
An angry, evil black morass
Slowly approaching critical mass.
Ages will roll constellations change,
Gemini into Virgo range,
and then the system from pole to pole
Will collapse into the Casserole.


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