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This Year I'll Give Fruitcake a Chance
Dennis Trujillo


It's time. This is the year I'll dump
my biases against the dense,
moist loaves with neon-colored
bits of candied fruits, spices,
and chopped nuts that I've avoided
since about the time of Sputnik.
Oh, I've had my chances:
Years back when I was a soldier
at Fort Hood, Texas, I took the trip
to the fruitcake gala held each year
at Corsicana. I placed third
in the hilly 10-K run, and the prize
was a hefty fruitcake. My friends
devoured the sticky loaf 
with cold beer, but I preferred
nachos, piled high with jalepeños,
to go with my post-race ale.
It will be a threshold moment
like my first kiss (about the time
of the Apollo Moon Walk),
or my first car (about the time
of President Carter),
when I welcome to my lips
a thick slice of spiced fruitcake
with morning tea. I only ask
that it be a fruitcake injected
numerous times in the spleen
(the neon green parts) with ample
shots of rum. My life begins anew
this year as I become a fruitcake

© by Dennis Trujillo.
Used with the author’s permission.

Dennis Trujillo served twenty years in the U.S. Army, then spent fifteen years teaching math. He began writing poetry one day in the winter of 2010, when his high school staff forgot to notify him there was no school because it was a snow day. In the vacant classroom, he was overwhelmed with an impulse to write a poem titled "Snow Day". That one opened a floodgate of impulses for more; Dennis has been writing and publishing poems ever since. He now teaches English at Shinheung College in Uijeongbu, South Korea.



Post New Comment:
Joe Sottile:
Clever and funny! Bravo!
Posted 12/03/2013 01:49 PM
Thats my daddy!! So proud! Who knew in that old soldier there was a poet waiting to be released!!! I love you!
Posted 12/02/2013 02:58 PM
Love the humor and the progression through time. This makes me wonder about the things I have resisted and rejected all my life that I might be willing to try now.
Posted 12/02/2013 09:18 AM
All those memories connected to fruitcake. I love fruitcake and loved this poem.
Posted 12/02/2013 08:22 AM
Wilda Morris:
I love the flashback lines in this poem. And the last word being on a separate line - "this year as I become a fruitcake" is delightful - and I didn't see "connoisseur" until I'd read the line without it. That is real artistry!
Posted 12/02/2013 07:45 AM
Thank goodness for that snow day in 2010! It's hard to find a favorite part in this poem -- I think I've got one and then there's another. Thanks for sharing it.
Posted 12/02/2013 06:14 AM
Fruitcake is like love: just because you had a bad one in the past doesn't mean that you should stop looking for a perfect one.
Posted 12/02/2013 06:07 AM
Ross Kightly:
Join the rest of us Fruit-n-nut-n-neon-rum converts! What a splendid poem about so much that happened during that part of the Twentieth Century! I have fruitcake recipes and I'm still looking for the poem recipe that has been followed here. And what a marvellous reason for starting a career as a poet! Many thanks for this one, Dennis.
Posted 12/02/2013 05:16 AM

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