In search of story

May 22.22: Coping, but barely


A machine that makes ice cream cones?

How could it be?

I thought they materialized

from some alchemy.

They simply appeared

from a summery haze

by a wave of the scoop

on tropical days.

In colorful turbans

turned quickly to goo,

they left us goatee’d

with sugary glue

while teaching hard fact

under brilliant hot sun

that time and fudge ripple

wait for no one.

Speed was the essence

of masterful lick;

neat slowed us down:

it had to be quick.

Racing the drips,

maneuvering the cold,

to push it all down

into cone’s hold

was no easy victory,

the skills were hard won,

but practice made perfect

and we’d hardly begun.

Like all childhood magic,

a part of it lingers

as we lick chocolate chip

from between grown-up fingers.


For me, dear reader, the only cone worth the drips was the “sugar cone,” which was the ultimate in crunch. It did not, like those flat-bottomed would-be’s, turn to flab in my hand and chew like rubber. No. The sugar-cone had character. It also had the tiniest hole at the bottom so that only the most skilled could come away with clean clothes. But the crunch held. What else mattered?


More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and to Doumar’s Cones and Barbecue, Norfolk, VA.


15 thoughts on “May 22.22: Coping, but barely

  1. An ice cream cone is a special treat. Somewhere along the line as I aged I started getting it in a dish instead of a cone. I can’t honestly remember how many years since I had ice cream in a cone, but I think I hear one calling to me. Thank you , Maureen. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿฆ

    • I hope you can get one that holds its crunch! I too made the switch to dish instead of cone because it was so hard to find the right kind of cone. The cones featured here look right. I think a good ice cream cone is a treat indeed.

  2. I have to agree with you, Maureen – sugar cones rule!

    I love this part:

    Racing the drips,
    maneuvering the cold,
    to push it all down
    into coneโ€™s hold

    I almost feel myself moving the cone around to do this.

  3. The sugar cones are wonderful, except I love them with the soft swirls of vanilla ice cream!
    In the old country where I grew up, we called it “American ice cream”; no matter how many other flavors they come up with, the memories of the swirls and the sweet scent are embedded in my brain forever.

  4. I love the line
    racing the drips
    that’s exactly what happens with me:)

  5. The sign of a professional!

  6. The only cones I can get the kiddos to eat. They Know! ๐Ÿ˜

  7. So I’m not the only one who appreciates the value of the crunch!

  8. This one made me smile. It’s sugar cones all the way for me too, although I don’t recall any as a child. We just had the soggy kind and could only hope to be served from a fresh batch.

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