Guest Poet Barbara Ehrentreu

Fake Cotton Candy
Amidst fake cotton candy statues 
In the Palisades Mall Food Court
We ate cold grilled chicken sandwiches and 
Captured a moment of peace

Encapsulated in a fake bubble of happy family,
differences put aside for now
swallowed by the immense crowd
Who walked concrete floors and
sat upon hot pink metal benches
convinced that the techno-modernity
of such a cavern would change their lives.

Thousands meandered past restaurants
surrounded by necklaces of the hopeful
forced into a holding pattern waiting
for their names to be called, 
grumbling stomachs enticed by
aromas, of meats and spices wafting into their nostrils,
while inside hallowed temples
Waitresses balanced trays and wore
good humor as a uniform

We chose a different route
preferring the immediacy of the food court
where the dream and reality of a juicy bite
were easier to merge.

Mouth watering statues of cotton candy 
Towered over us as we ate
Its essence in pink fluff
Sweetness surrounded by air
we gobbled in our haste to capture it all.

Afterward walking to the car there was
the bitter taste of the mall on my tongue.

September, 1999

Barbara Ehrentreu's Questions:

Does the ending sentence convey what I feel about the mall by describing the taste I had?

Does the use fo the cotton candy help to describe the mall as a metaphor?

The Albany Poetry Workshop