Ubi Sunt Ballade for the High-Fat Diets of Our Youth

That frosting dribbling down the sides of bowls,
That mostaccioli baked with triple cheese,
That dough that puffed to pudgy dinner rolls—
I learned and mastered them. I meant to please
your tastes, love, in those early Seventies,
in these overt and those more hidden ways.
I did. And I've still got the recipes.
Ah, for the dinner hours of former days!

Creations like your mother's were my goals.
(Bountiful lady; may she rest in peace.)
Memorialized in blots on cookbook folds:
those raised and deep-fried doughnuts, drooling grease.
The baths of olive oil, the crisp panisses,
the lemon pudding cake with orange glaze,
the fruit-topped cheesecake dripping with cerise—
still here, the recipes of former days.

Alas! Triglycerides and LDLs!
Their numbers rack us. Doctors put the squeeze
on these trans fats and those cholesterols,
and timor mortis bred of heart disease
conturbat nos. Must we then trade Chinese
for whole wheat pasta with its cardboard taste?
Renounce, abandon, quit, desist and cease
from saturated fats of former days?

Courage, dear heart! Pass the decanter, please.
We still have pinot noirs and cabernets.
Heart-healthy, let us drink life to the lees!
Sant・ To pleasures, and to further days.

Maryann Corbett