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Bored with plain home-baking and my tea upon the hour
Life’s dough was flat. I needed cakes with more “self-raising” flour;
Some richer fare and spicier, with loads of cream and jam
From pastry-cooks who’d seek to please the man I dream I am.

And so I thought to try my luck at Annie’s back-street shop,
The place where even plain white loaves have cherries on the top --
Or so they said, those friends of mine who’d shopped around a lot
And boasted of the bargains that I had never got.

But even Custard Tarts, I found, came at a heavy price
For custard that looked lumpy and pastry far from nice.
While the smirk that Annie gave as she suggested Fairy Cake
Made me wonder if excitement was a risk I ought to take.

For there’s menace in the moment when your palate’s to be spiced
And she asks you if you want your titbit toasted, iced or sliced;
And she warns you while you wonder that she’ll do her best to trump it,
Though she’s doubtful if your toasting fork will hold her size of crumpet.

So, though my wife now seldom bakes and what she does is plainish,
I lost the nerve to try a big Cream Horn or Pecan Danish.
But every time I pass that shop I know that I’ll be stopping
And wishing I’d not chickened out of more than window shopping.