She writes how she whipped up his favorite
kind of pancakes, secretly grateful for
him, for his enjoyment of what she provides

The day a cocoon for a yet to be free
butterfly—and those pancakes were key
as they were for me when we made them

for the boy I’d recently met, a group of us
off for an adventure, hiking a mountain
near Palm Springs, my girlfriend, her brother

the four of us never making it even partway.
Back in L.A., long afternoon drive, ready
for food, and all we found in a bare kitchen

was a box of buckwheat pancake mix
which us girls made, hesitant, following
directions, our first time with pancakes

serving them to hoots of laughter, the guys
commenting on their color—gray—how flat
they looked, though soon scarfed up, likely

drowned in corn syrup. I don’t remember
that part, only the jokes about our cooking
and that I resolved never to marry that boy

yet I did, the following spring, in spite of
our supper of buckwheat pancakes, despite
everything I knew was wrong, because

his mother made me peanut butter sandwiches
when I came to visit, us on the floor, listening
to his collection of folk LPs, later going out
on long drives, taking the 101, 99, or 405.

Thank you Henri/etta, for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series: