Chocolate Pudding (& Other Delights) by
(89 Stories)

Prompted By Comfort Food

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Some things never change.

Like many of you, dear readers, I have a hoard of memorabilia. Mine includes early writing and poetry…most of it cringeworthy. That’s why it’s in my shed in a box labeled “TO SHRED OR DESTROY (without reading, please!)” For some reason I couldn’t (can’t!) seem to let it go…maybe I gleaned Retrospect—and this prompt— in my future.

(Hmmm…maybe if I change “soft and brown” to “smooth and brown”? Nah.)


Profile photo of Barbara Buckles Barbara Buckles
Artist, writer, storyteller, spy. Okay, not a spy…I was just going for the rhythm.

I call myself “an inveterate dabbler.” (And my husband calls me “an invertebrate babbler.”) I just love to create one way or another. My latest passion is telling true stories live, on stage. Because it scares the hell out of me.

As a memoirist, I focus on the undercurrents. Drawing from memory, diaries, notes, letters and photographs, I never ever lie, but I do claim creative license when fleshing out actual events in order to enhance the literary quality, i.e., what I might have been wearing, what might have been on the table, what season it might have been. By virtue of its genre, memoir also adds a patina of introspection and insight that most probably did not exist in real time.

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Characterizations: funny, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    Yes, Barb, properly cooked chocolate pudding, with that skin of dark chocolate on top after it cools, is amazing. My mother used to make that all of the time. Don’t ever destroy that box of writing. Your poem is great — captures the essence of comfort foods!

  2. Dave Ventre says:

    Good poetry is so hard. I’ve written many poems; I think one is good. Maybe.

    I am drawn to the italics part at the end. I also struggle with not letting memoirs slide into fantasy. Its especially hard not to do this unintentionally because I have written fictional stories that draw on my past for inspiration and details. I am unsure of the veracity of any of my memories now!

    I have also participated in performance workshops/classes where you had to tell only true stories about yourself, with as much complete honesty as you can muster. It can be a wrenching experience for sure.

    • I give myself permission to slide a little knowing that memory is fickle. I don’t distort facts, but my feelings about them are mutable.

      We have something nearby called Strong Words where people get up on a little stage and tell their stories. It’s a very warm community so a safe place; still, it’s unnerving for me to speak in public.

  3. Khati Hendry says:

    I did read the poem in the picture and really, why throw away something that exalts the fabulous Graham crackers and milk? That made me smile. No one will judge you by early scribbles—or so I hope, as I haven’t been able to throw away my cringe-worthy relics yet. I have copies of some poetry a good friend wrote in early adult angst. She threatens to destroy her work too, but I am glad I have the copies because it has meaning to me, and I like it. Maybe others can appreciate things in ways you don’t know, and won’t be as critical as you are of yourself.

    • You’re right, of course, Khati…I’m just a little angry at my younger self for my lack of confidence. Which is not to say I’m super confident now, just that I’m aware of where my insecurity comes from and now stand up to it. It only took 75 years! (!!!)

  4. Suzy says:

    Barb, I love your poem – not cringeworthy at all! And I love your handwriting too! I hope whoever finds this box does not follow your instructions to shred or destroy without reading!

    • Aww, thanks, Suzy! I guess it’s the more angsty poetry and stream of consciousness blather that I feel I should get rid of. Makes me want to slap my younger self upside the face and say, “Snap out of it!” a la Cher to Nic Cage in Moonstruck.

  5. Marian says:

    Nice to see your poem, Barb, and very a propos for this prompt. Glad you didn’t shred it.

  6. Chocolate pudding, cream cheese pie, chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, graham crackers & milk – do I see a creamy, chocolatey theme here?

    I’ll take ‘em all Bebe!

  7. Betsy Pfau says:

    Your long-ago poem perfectly expresses all those yummy foods that lifted you up and chased away your blues. Good to hear from you and so happy this was not shredded.

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