Terri Kirby Erickson



Give me some sugar, people used
to say to get a good-bye kiss. But sugar
is bad for you now and crossed

off our list. It only leads to weight
gain and inflammation, not to
mention condemnation from those

whose idea of a treat is eating one
more sprout or an extra beet. Without
sweets I would be thinner and no

doubt a little healthier. Most definitely,
I would be wealthier. But what good
is supper without a sugar upper—

chocolate chip cookies, layer cakes,
éclairs and cinnamon rolls, dollops
of homemade ice cream melting

in bowls? If I’d been Eve, the world
would not have fallen. I only eat
apples in pie or stollen.


Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of six collections of poetry, including A Sun Inside My Chest (Press 53), winner of the 2021 International Book Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared in American Life in Poetry, The Sun, The Writer’s Almanac, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and many others. Her awards include the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and his extensive collection of Loudmouth Golf Pants.