Eating the Cookies

Kenyon, Jane

Primary Category: Literature / Poetry

Genre: Poem

Annotated by:
Dittrich, Lisa
  • Date of entry: Oct-21-1996


The speaker describes cleaning out the house of a friend/relative who has recently died. She rewards each small accomplishment in her sorting through of the dead woman's possessions by eating one cookie from a tin of homemade cookies that was sent by the woman's cousin before she died. As she reaches the end of her cleaning, the speaker takes the last cookie from the tin: "I took it up / and sniffed it, and before eating it, / pressed it against my forehead, because / it seemed like the next thing to do."


The poem describes the living person's task of sorting through the possessions of the dead as a sacrament, symbolized by the cookies, which become, in the end, like the Eucharist host.

Primary Source

Otherwise: New and Selected Poems



Place Published

Saint Paul, Minn.