The Wickersley Pie

by Stilly

The greengrocer muttered, then tuttered, then uttered,
"A half dozen turkey eggs, a pumpkin degutted,
Rhubarb, and damson jam, some fresh elderberries,
Cinnamon splinters, and wild sweetheart cherries,
Rose water, spelt flour, five cardamon roots,
Strawbinis and goat curd, a ripe ginger breadfruit,
And one jar of organic sweet chestnut honey."
Then he looked up and laughed (as he totted the money)
At the not-hidden ladies behind his tin cans,
Who whispered and scribbled their ill-gotten plans;
Desperate to learn what went into the recipe,
Every ingredient, every necessity,
Known only to Mrs Claire Manly-Brightthighes,
The world's only maker of Wickersely Pies.

As she paid and collected the recipe order
Mrs Manly-Brightthighes saw the Mayor's youngest daughter
Who was hiding her face in this months 'Country Life',
With Edna O'Grady the pub landlord's wife;
Miss Worth and Miss Birch (the equestrian team),
She greeted them each with an all-knowing gleam
And reminded them all of the upcoming fete,
The Pet Show, Tombola, Hook-a-duck, Guess the Weight,
And the bakery auction, most important indeed,
All proceeds to raise funds for Badgers in Need.
This year she was baking her Wickersley Pie,
The recipe passed on by her forebears gone by.
With a smile and a nod she made her departures
And home just in time to tune in to "The Archers".

Oh That Wickersley Pie! Oh that Wickersley Pie!
The envy and toast of the W.I.
A fragrance your nose simply ached to invite in,
And sweet spicy fruit for your tongue to delight in.
A crust, oh, so light that it barely felt swallowed.
A crispy cooked base so firm and marshmallowed.
With cream or with custard or just eaten alone,
Instructions so secret, that the curtains were drawn.
For five days of steeping and peeling and chilling,
Claire set to work on the pastry and filling.
Everything weighed out and measured so perfectly.
No room for error or actions unfurtively.
'Til out of the oven all steaming and brown
She rested the Wickersley Pie to cool down.

To continue reading
Please continue to read the full and remainder of this poem in its original form by visiting the website of its primary publisher — and with KV's grateful thanks to — here.

Stilly is a local poet and illustrator originally from Yorkshire. He has been writing, drawing and performing in and around Oxford for several years. Stilly says, "I carry a heavy projector and screen to local venues brave enough to endure my brand of 'powerpoint poetry'. They are growing in number."

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