Poem: Frog Cakes

South Australian icon the frog cake is hopping towards its 95th year. In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Sue Cook touches on what would be memories for just about everyone who grew up with the ubiquitous sweet.

Frog Cakes

Adelaide 1952

Seven excited girls, chattering
like lorikeets at a feeder,
almost big enough to sit up to the best table
laden with mum’s hearty home-baked birthday spread,
except for one daring, taste tantalising plate
piled high with Balfours’ frog cakes, iced in
garish green, Barbie pink and chocolate, in paper skirts,
square bodies with domed heads,
icing blob eyes and yawning cream maws.
Tempting beyond seven-year-old dreams
of princesses kissing frogs.

Sixty years later I succumb again to frog cake fantasy,
an oddly Adelaidean concoction,
I rescue it from its supermarket shelf.
Secretly, I devour the pink frog cake
leaving the head till last as we did when we were seven.

But sadly the fantasy
has been swallowed up by sensible eating,
nutritional rules and an ever-expanding waistline,
the frog cake has become food for guilty thought.
I can’t have my cake and eat it any more.

Sue Cook, an original contributor to Poet’s Corner, is also a long-term resident of the Adelaide Hills. As a senior English teacher, for a number of years she edited the annual anthology Spring Poetry Festival for the South Australian English Teachers Association. Her own poetry has appeared in Friendly Street anthologies, various literary journals and magazines, and as the guest poet in a subsequent edition of Spring Poetry Festival. Sue’s work can also be found online.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to [email protected]. A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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