Lentil Soup Thief
by Andrea L. Alterman

He is my test taster, after I make the meal
he offers his opinion in emails sneaky

to let me know he’s been by to breathe
my private air and claim his share of

some soup I made a night ago or worse
cookies I baked that our mother doesn’t make.

He needs to know, tastebuds and all, how
food I make is different, if there’s garlic

enough to keep nosy people at bay, or
if the lemonade is sweet enough to add

to seltzer, but he’s nice and doesn’t demolish
everything, just leaves me the spoon to let

me know he’s been here, where was I,
at work I’ll have him know and isn’t it

fun to graze my edibles when I’m not
there to tell him exactly how many ants

I added to the cookies to make them
chocolate chip, he agrees in emails sneaky.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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