Saturday, April 7, 2018

Horehound Candy--By Carl "Papa" Palmer--United States

Horehound Candy

Seeing it on the country store shelf reminds me of Dad,
'Horehound candy', a name snickered at when I got older, 
the flavor not really to my liking, 
a root beer licorice cough drop taste, but still, it was candy, 
and what kid would turn down candy.

Dad would always buy one stick, snap it in two, hand me 
my half and say, "too much sugar'll spoil supper,
plus a penny a piece is ridiculous."

I don't remember the first or last time he bought me a stick,
I just remember he always did, 
a sort of father son rite of passage 
when horehound was on the shelf.

So, I ask for one of the candies, pay the ridiculous price 
of a quarter and put half the stick in my mouth. 
It tastes just like it did back then, but I don't remember 
it ever causing a tear to fall from my eye.

Carl "Papa" Palmer of University Place, WA is retired military, retired FAA, now just plain retired without wristwatch, cell phone, alarm clock or Facebook friend. Carl is a Hospice volunteer and president of The Tacoma Writers Club.

MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever


  1. Gosh That takes me back. My Dad and I used to do the same thing with Liquorice sticks. Thanks for bringing back that memory.

    1. Licorice, yes. Remember when it came only in black? We'd play like we were chewing tobacco to gross out adults. I think Germany has the best.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jack, writing of memory moments becomes my memoir

  3. Dear Carl,

    I love this poem, your description is so vivid and the last line is simply excellent.

    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you, Inge, amazing how a song, phrase or taste will send us back in time, isn't it?

  4. Hi Carl. A lovely poem you have shared with us. That last stanza is powerful and ignited my eyes to moisturize. Great memories often do that. Continued blessings, my friend!


  5. Extremely good Papa Carl, I never liked the taste of Horehound. Thus, I laugh about its name, but this gives me food for thought.
    Knight Writer

  6. I loved your poem - so full of truths. The ending touched my heart.

  7. I enjoyed your poem. I have not thought about Horehound for fifty years. When I was a little boy a friend of our made it herself and used it as a cough drop. She would give us some to taste. Love your last line.

  8. I really loved your well written and poignant poem Carl, It brought back so many memories of my own dear daddy that dearly loved to give his children treats and the tear it brought to my eye at that remembrance. Thank you for sharing your talent.
    Sincerely, Charlene