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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Autumn/Fall (08/27/09)

TITLE: By The Mug Or By The Jug
By Mariane Holbrook
09/01/09


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Up in northern Pennsylvania
Lived a lady of some means.
Had she lived in olde tyme England,
She’d have been one of their queens.

How she loved her apple cider;
An aficionado she.
She gave depth and definition
To the word “persnickety.”

Every fall Miss Audrey Bidlack
Hosted her “Autumnal Tea”
But she always served hot cider
From her famous recipe.

When you got your invitation,
(Even if you had contrived)
It suggested to your neighbors
That you finally had “arrived.”

Ordering her special apples
From a grower far away,
She would peel and core her apples
Getting rid of all decay.

Pans of apples, picture perfect,
Audrey took to Keystone Mill.
The instructions that she gave them
Were precisely like a drill.

“Do not mix with other apples.
Do a special run for these.
Disinfect the pans you’re using;
We don’t want to spread disease.”

When the door had closed behind her,
All the workers groaned and sighed.
The instructions she had given
They politely set aside.

In the cider press they poured hers
Mixed with apples of their own
Which had worms and cores and bruises,
(Audrey’d died if she had known.)

She returned four hours later,
Took a taste, called it “just right.”
She would serve her apple cider
When the ladies came that night.

But she never knew the difference,
People loved her all the same,
Though her special apple cider
Was her only claim to fame.

When she died the ladies missed her;
Oh, what parties Audrey gave.
Every fall they place fresh flowers
In some cider on her grave.


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This article has been read 630 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/03/09
Absolutely delightful narrative! I loved it.
Deborah Engle 09/03/09
Very entertaining tale, but I would be very upset if I was Miss Bidlack. Of course, she nnever knew, so all's well.
Allen Stark09/04/09
Terrific rhyme! I think the reason I enjoy poetry such as yours so much is because I wish I had it in me.
Lynda Schultz 09/04/09
Loved that final touch—flowers in cider, indeed!
Charla Diehl 09/04/09
Perfect title for this cute and humorous poem. Rhyme and meter are masterfully done--and the ending was sweet--Audrey would be pleased!
Helen Dowd 09/06/09
This was such a light-hearted poem. I loved the lilt and the rhythm and of course, the rhyme. It's good to read something light and "feathery" for a change. It lifts one spirit. And I needed my spirit to be lifted...God's blessings on you. I always love your writings...Helen
Sherrie Coronas09/08/09
This was fun to read. It amazes me how you told such a complete story in a short poem through careful and great vocabulary choices. Awesome.
Karie McCaffity09/09/09
As I read this, I found myself smiling. Thanks
Jan Ackerson 09/09/09
Wonderful! My dad once owned a cider mill, so my mind boggled at the thought of peeling, cleaning, and coring all the apples. I laughed out loud at the mill workers' reactions!
Diana Dart 09/09/09
Wonderful! Loved Audrey and loved the sing-song voice of the poem. Great job.
Bryan Ridenour09/09/09
Wonderful poem. Fun read. Put a smile on my face. Well done.
Betty Castleberry09/09/09
Charming! I absolutely love the idea of the flowers in the cider on her grave.

A fun story, very nicely done in poetry fashion. Thanks for sharing.
Ada Nett09/09/09
I was delighted to meet Miss Audrey Bidlack! A fun piece of writing!
~Cathy~
Edy T Johnson 09/09/09
I just relish your juicy words!
For example: "persnickity" to rhyme with "she,"
"Autumnal Tea" (to rhyme with "recipe") is simply delicious, the way it rolls off the tongue!

Words are fascinating in themselves. But the way you put them together is pure delight to the soul, leaving joy bells in this reader's heart.
Pamela Kliewer09/09/09
Simply delightful!
Mona Purvis09/09/09
Made me think of The Waltons and the 2 aunts who made homemade cider (hard).

This was such an escape and just full of fun.
Love it.

Mona
Joanney Uthe09/09/09
What a delightful poem! I really enjoy your talent for poetry and humor.

We visited an apple orchard on a field trip where the workers told us about someone just like Audrey, and they, too mixed hers with their apples.
Carol Slider 09/09/09
This is wonderful--meaningful, and great fun, too! Very well done!
Colin Swann09/10/09
Well, our Queen likes a tipple
but I'm not sure she likes it to be cider. Living in Worcestershire where the best cider apples grow - I related well to your very interesting story in rhyme. Thanks - Colin