July 13, 2021

A Recipe for Simple Syrup, By Lauren Parker

Editor’s note: The detailed recipe. The anger. The boiling. The crows. I could not resist this one. (Kate)

Queen's Wreath will tickle the shoulders 

Of your fences.

Cut it on the walk you take 

Before everyone is awake

Couple sprigs should do, 

The wilting limbs will be enough

2 cups of rain water on the stove 

In the pot you got in your parents’ divorce 

Boil the water and toss in the flowers

Half expecting they will float away

The whole kitchen will fill up 

With the smell of blossoms and Spring

Don’t let it seduce you, it’s not yours. 

Cover the pot and lower the heat

Let simmer for 20 minutes 

The simmer is important

Hot as anger, sweet as panting Summer

The sugar will burn, it’s the finicky part

Add a cup if you’re Southern, half if you aren’t

Stir slowly until dissolved,

Granules washed away by boiling sea

He is never coming back, 

the crows that speak his voice;

they are of your own making 

Know your fucking power, 

Even if it means taking.

Leave overnight in the fridge

Let the ice crust on the pasta jar you’ve used

And washed with water and soap and vinegar

When you pour it in what you’re drinking

You’ll hear him scream

Real this time, not 5 crows on the laundry line

Not in your head

You drink anyway. Deep. To the dregs.


Bio: Lauren Parker is a writer and visual artist based in Oakland. She’s a graduate of Hiram College’s Creative Writing program and has written for The Toast, The Bold Italic, Daily Xtra, and Autostraddle. Her website is laureneparker.com.


Image by Jorge Salvador.


Jaya Avendel said...

I love food writing so this poem blends together my love of writing with a deep appreciation for what goes into creating something tasty, magical, or dangerous.

Kim Malinowski said...


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