top of page

Putting Butter on a Scone (for Claire, Joan, and Melissa) | Carol Smith

Bossy sister spreads butter on my scone

in the coffee shop we happened upon

at Nicholson and Drummond.

Shy sister reaches in to add peach jam.

Playful sister’s blue eyes dance

to see me indulge in such a treat.

If my sisters weren’t here, I might

eat that scone plain – what with

runners, bikers, and skinny-pants walkers

passing by the plate glass window.


But the three of them would get

in a frenzy at such nonsense.

Bossy would go off on a rant.

Don’t even think of wasting time

fretting over a pound – and she

wouldn’t mean money – or nursing

that false hope of preserving health

or, let’s be honest, beauty!

Shy would nod her head right off her neck.

Playful would twist up her mouth.


I notice all the artists I’ve heard singing

on the shop radio are female.

Turning to mention that, I see

only empty stools at my table.

I feel the sorrow of knowing

my sisters are gone.

How soon before I join them

in some other dimension?


Do they mind that I’m in no hurry?

Will they forgive my reluctance

if I tell them how grateful I am

they stopped by to make sure

I put butter on my scone?


Carol A. Smith is an MFA in Poetry candidate at Arcadia University. Over the past 30 years, she has taught language arts, literacy, and college composition. She writes personal and sociopolitical poems, often reflecting upon the intersections of the two. Carol and her husband live in Southern New Jersey.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page