Drifting Toward Planet Elderly – Poem: Crumble of Jello Cake

December 13, 2019 – evening

Last week Jello cake was served for dessert.  Mom said she was full and didn’t want any, but when she saw the small piece given to me, she changed her mind.

It was fun to see her totally consumed with the pleasure of eating that piece of cake.  When she was almost finished, she said something that became the seed for this poem.


Crumble of Jello Cake

I slipped off her fork

just as the bite I was baked with

approached her open mouth.


It wasn’t a rough landing onto

the beige Formica tabletop–

just a gentle plop behind her cup of tea.


From where I landed

I could see her appetite energized by

the sweetness of red jello blended with

made-from-scratch yellow cake

and topped with a thin white blanket of fluff.


She loved it.

I could tell.

She chewed quickly,

her blue eyes wide with

the anticipation of each bite.


“This is really good,” she said,

stabbing the air with her fork

pointed at the remains on the plate.


But I wasn’t on the plate.

I sat hidden behind her cup

of tea until she reached for it

and took a sip.


Then she saw me.


“Oh, there you are!” she smiled,

tapping me with her fingertip

and sliding me onto her cream coated tongue.


And there I went,

joining my confectionery counterparts

as I slipped my way toward her

delight of what was sweet and soft

and made her smile.




JJ Mummert ©December 2019


About jjmummert

This blog was originally titled "Drifting Toward Planet Elderly," and it shared a journey I had with my elderly parents as they both finished their lives battling the complexities of dementia. After both passed on, I changed the title to "Living on Planet Elderly." I am a retiree who is reluctantly adjusting to the reality that she is now elderly. In July of 2021, I relocated to Middleton WI after living in Columbia MO for over 40 years. I decided that I want to experience a new and vibrant location in a cooler climate with lakes...a bucket list item of mine. I have a first cousin who lives in Madison. We have nice childhood memories, and I thought it would be wonderful to spend some time together as elders. It was. AND THEN....in March 2023, I returned to Columbia. I had a wonderful time experiencing the Madison area of Wisconsin, spending time with my cousin, and making some wonderful friends. No regrets.
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