The Perfect Cake

225 grams

of flour

and butter

and sugar

4 eggs

And a teaspoon

of baking powder

 

I follow every single rule and regulation

Folding in the flour properly

Without leaving lumps

Making sure that there is no eggshell left

None of those hard, jagged edges

Just smooth

And nice

And perfect.

 

But my cake

Never seems to turn out like yours

It is always sunk

in the middle

Or not risen as high as yours is.

 

And sometimes

it takes longer than those 15 minutes

you give it to cook

Or I leave it too long

And I am left

With blackness

overtaking the sponge

And a foul stench

That reaches my nostrils

And makes the fire alarm scream.

 

Maybe

Maybe it does not need to be

Flawless

Maybe

Maybe you learn

From your mistakes

Maybe

Maybe the next time

It will be better

 

But

All the same

I follow the recipe for a

Perfect cake

Again and again and again

Praying

Hoping

Dreaming

That one day

Mine will turn out

Like yours.

 

Maryam Alatmane

 

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