Grandpa’s chocolate cake

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Chocolate Layer Cake

I watched him hoe the garden, clearing weeds from row to row. Grandpa was
near 95 and moving kinda slow.

His wooden cane was hanging from a belt loop in the back. If Grandma had been
watching, she’d have given him a whack!

I was barely 15 with an appetite to snack. I knew that Grandpa always had
some cake in his knapsack.

I moved in close beside him, got his normal one arm hug. Then Grandpa took a
swig of water from his Clorox jug.

He said, “We’d better take some time. Let’s have a little break.” While he
opened up his pocket knife, cut Grandma’s chocolate cake.

Each piece was cut precision. Grandpa’s knife was plenty sharp. Then we found a
place to sit down on a worn out canvas tarp.

We scarfed the chocolate cake down, tasted better than it looked. When it came
to Grandma’s chocolate cake our taste buds had been hooked.

Grandpa looked right at me. “I’ve been sneakin’ cake for years. If Grandma saw
me take some she would prob’ly box my ears.”

Grandma knew too well that he was sneaking on the sly. She said that’s why he
married her. Her cake had caught his eye.

When Grandpa first met Grandma they were at the city dance. He said, “Today’s
my birthday. Could I have a dance by chance?”

Grandma said while dancing Grandpa treated her so sweet. But when it came to
hoofing Grandpa had two clumsy feet.

That night he asked my grandma for their first official date. She brought along a
birthday cake, the best he’d ever ate.

Grandpa married Grandma nearly 60 years ago. And Grandma always baked a
cake ‘bout every week or so.

She said she’d baked so many cakes and never had one fall. Grandpa liked her
chocolate cake the very best of all.

Grandpa’s tone grew serious. “You’re still a mite in years. But always know a
chocolate cake can calm the worst of fears.

“So when you think you’ve found your gal and bachelorhood’s at stake. The first
thing to consider, does she bake a chocolate cake?”

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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.

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