Photography © Jennifer Matthews


Candied Children
Dedicated to my future son.

My first love was sweets.
Gummy bears, butterscotch, ribbon candy,
Stick candy, lollypops, caramel,
Candy bars,
I inhaled one and all.

Your grandma could only laugh
At my sticky, pudgy face.
Scolding would have been fruitless anyway.
She was the culprit,
Who encouraged my candy raid habit.

I guess a sweet tooth
Can be considered a genetic trait.
Grandpa had a large one too.
Not a single vanilla bean cake
Lasted longer than a day.

Soon my childhood love
Would be replaced by another.
A man, whose eyes
Reminded me of round gumdrops.
But colored like the darkest, richest chocolate.

I quickly and willingly
Married the candy man to my soul,
Your father.
Whose lips has yet to loose
Their sugary gloss taste.

I’m sixteen weeks along now;
My firstborn baby
What will you be like?
Will you be like me?
With eyes like blueberry syrup

And a pink bubblegum tongue?
Will your skin feel like gum paste
Or be smooth as red velvet batter?
If your fingers and toes do not curl
Can I call them candy corn?

Or would you prefer the thought
Of colorful rock candy?
I’m hopeful you will like peachy penguins;
I want those to be your first treat
When your teeth are fully grown.

Our first movie night will be special too.
Willy Wonka and his chocolate factory
Are equally as eager to meet you.
Sleep well my baby;
May your dreams always be sweet and warm.


Whitney Cailin Stewart is a 2020 graduate from Oklahoma State University. “My style of writing is all over the place; much of my inspiration comes from music, nature, movies, and sometimes my over eccentric mind. But that’s the way I like it.”

Poet/Photographer Jennifer Matthews’ poetry has been published in Nepal by Pen Himalaya and locally by the Wilderness Retreat Writers Organization, Midway Journal, The Somerville Times, Ibbetson Street Press and Boston Girl Guide. Jennifer was nominated for a poetry award by the Cambridge Arts Council for her book of Poetry Fairy Tales and Misdemeanors. Her songs have been released nationally and internationally and her photography has been used as covers for a number of Ibbetson Street Press poetry books and has been exhibited at The Middle East Restaurant, 1369 Coffeehouses, Sound Bites Restaurant in Somerville and McLean Hospital.