Cinnamon (for Adelheid)

Different café, another time,
a seat by a steamy window,
hot chocolate with cinnamon,
and I’m sitting opposite her,
the last time we met,
before I left and we never
saw each other again.
I was naïve, excited,
eager to explore,
and she was so much older,
teacher and mentor.
She encouraged me to fly,
widened my horizon,
big ambitions, simple tastes:
hot chocolate with cinnamon.

Kim M. Russell, 15th November 2019

Image result for hot chocolate with cinnamon Pinterest
Image found on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Timetravel – Flashbacks with Björn, also linked to Poets United Pantry of Poetry and Prose

Björn is here with his last Toad prompt and he wants us all to remember and look back – using flashbacks.

He reminds us that a ‘flashback is a memory that is so strong that it pulls you back in time to another moment, maybe more pleasant than present or more horrific. That means that you stay in the same tense as the rest of your poem (often present tense)’. To do this, we need something that ‘creates such a vivid memory’ that we travel in time. He gives examples of such triggers, such as grandmother’s scent or a song on the radio.

Björn asks what would pull us back in time? How would it change our present state of mind? Would it help to make a difficult decision? Would it make us happier, sadder or angry? He says our poem or flash-prose can be fiction or non-fiction, it just has to be new.

Inspired by Shay (Fireblossom), I’ve written fifteen lines for 15th November.

59 thoughts on “Cinnamon (for Adelheid)

  1. Hot chocolates at that cafe must carry a new note of bittersweetness now that you know it was the last meeting. Still, warmth oozes from this piece, like a creamy filling. It’s a blessing to have someone like that in our lives, even if its just for a short time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She was my German teacher for several years and gave me sanctuary when I needed it, as well as encouraging me to try new things. She was right behind my move to Germany when I was a teenager.


  2. Oh wow, 15 lines for the 15th! I’ll take any credit I can get, barely deserved or not! 😉

    This poem is absolutely lovely. Most of us have had those mentors and I know mine meant an awfully lot to me in my life. I sometimes stop and wonder if I’ve lived up to what they believed I could be.

    Love that picture too–it totally suits the poem, and makes me want hot choco myself right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Viv. I got caught in the rain yesterday, completely drenched, so I’m still fragile and sneezing. I stayed in all day today, tucked up in a rug, reading The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Viv. The book is brilliant. I’m up to the final chapter and should finish it this morning. It’s about the Trojan war and captured queen, Briseis, who is condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who decimated her family. Pat Barker takes Briseis the footnotes of history and makes her the protagonist of her own tale. Quite shocking and bloodthirsty in parts.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a gorgeous write, Kim! ❤️ I love the image; “a seat by a steamy window, hot chocolate with cinnamon,” it describes nostalgia and the events waiting to unfold so well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a powerful memory. These people and these shared moments are so pivotal. And the accompanying tastes and smells, like hot chocolate with cinnamon, recreate them fresh in our minds so we can benefit again and again from the inspiring traces of the Adelheids in our lives. Really lovely moment to read, Kim. Very well written. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the way that this piece unfolds. The ‘unfolding’ of a poem, doesn’t seem to come up that much in comments, does it? But for me, if a poem unfolds eloquently and exquisitely – as this one does – I notice it. It seems to have the effect of imbuing the words with a wonderful authenticity … and that is a lovely thing in writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A little encouragement can go a long way, especially when given by one respected. I’m glad that you wrote this, a reminder to us in education. Thank you, kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love memories attached to food. They feel stronger (and more contagious) than others. I don’t know this lady, but I’m certain that the next time I have hot chocolate (spiked with a bit of cinnamon) I will think of this poem. And of people who affect us deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

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