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Chocolate Pudding

Arlene Ang

The instructions in bold letters state:

Serves 6. I consider the powder mix and milk

cycling in the saucepan, like Megan’s representational

designs of lemon trees. She is six years old

and reconciled to wait up for dessert.

I’m not really sure which direction to stir

with the whisk, and she’s not exactly my niece.


Megan gives me lessons on her mother:

the stovetop is starry night, the plastic cup

is gas station, the woman waiting tables is America.

We discuss the basis of courage: it’s all

in the chocolate pudding, she says. In rare letters,

her mother once wrote it’s the only thing

Megan manages to keep down when she’s ill.


Later, I read the wanted ads aloud because

that’s what her mother recited nightly to help her sleep.



The Frogmore Papers No 68 (2006)