Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Poem: "Simple as a Glass of Chocolate"

This poem is spillover from the March 17, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles  and LJ user Kestrels_nest, along with various people's previous requests for a superhero who could lift depression. It also fills the "disability (temporary)" square in my 11-26-13 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles . It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

See also the poem "Song of Life" by [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah, inspired by this poem.


"Simple as a Glass of Chocolate"


Valeria Salazar was nobody special,
just a woman with fine taste
who made fair-trade gourmet chocolate.

She worked for a company that produced
chocolate bars and chocolate chips
and chocolate para mesa.

One day she was taste-testing
a fancy new ingredient
when suddenly she realized
that she could find the flavor of
people's happiness or unhappiness.

The power of chocolate
flowed into her and through her
and now into them:
lifting depression,
soothing cravings,
bestowing happiness,
relieving female complaints.

With a little extra effort,
she could even repair relationships
if both people were willing to work on theirs.

Becoming a superhera
was as simple as a glass of chocolate
and as complex as happiness itself.

Valeria had no interest in fighting crime;
she was large and plush,
with long dark hair she did not wish to cut,
and she preferred dresses to trousers.

Not for her were the high-speed chases,
the bolt-lobbing, power-blasting battles.
The clingy dexflan unitards were meant
for younger, slimmer señoritas
still in search of a boyfriend.
She already had a husband.

Instead Valeria armed herself
with churros y chocolate,
donned a brown flamenco dress
with accents of glittering gold,
and went out to help people.

Hers was a quiet, subtle power.

It led her take a walk one evening
when she found someone
teetering on a bridge
and talked the jumper down,
washing away the depression
and leaving hope behind.

Life might be mixed,
the bitter with the sweet,
but it was still worth savoring --
and easier to swallow
without such choking darkness
hanging overhead.

Valeria was there when
a toddler abruptly manifested
the power to control animals --
except, being a toddler,
he was no more able
to control the animals
than he was to control himself.

Once she had the little boy
calmed down with a bar of chocolate,
the cats stopped chasing the dogs,
the birds stopped swarming people's heads,
the leafcutter ants went back to their tree,
and his mother finally quit screaming
long enough for Valeria
to soothe her shattered nerves.

There was the couple
who had marital problems
because they had both been abused
and hardly knew how to treat someone
whom they loved dearly.

Valeria could not change the past
but she could smooth away the scars
that it left on hearts and minds,
so that husband and wife
could love without bitterness.

She didn't see the need
for a mask or a secret identity
or any kind of code name,
but the people of Mexico
came to recognize and
respect her anyway,
and when they spoke of her,
they called her Señora Cocoa.

* * *

Notes:

Señora Cocoa -- Valeria Salazar is a Mexican superhera. Her face is a wide oval. She has light brown skin and brown eyes. Her hair is long and wavy, dark brown. She has a large, plush body and carries it well.
Origin: Valeria always had a taste for fine chocolate, and worked on a farm that made fair-trade gourmet chocolate. One day she was taste-testing a fancy new ingredient, which unexpectedly gave her superpowers.
Uniform: Brown flamenco dress with gold accents.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Chocolatier, Good (+2) Extended Family, Good (+2) Farmer, Good (+2) Flamenco Dancer
Poor (-2) Hates Megacorps
Powers: Expert (+4) Chocolate Powers (Signature Stunts: Bestow Happiness, Lift Depression, Relieve Female Complaints, Soothe Cravings; Spin-Off Stunt: Repair Relationship), Good (+2) Empathy
Motivation: To make people happy.

* * *

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”
Joanne Harris, Chocolat

Mexican chocolate is wonderful stuff. Churros are typically served with Mexican hot chocolate; enjoy a recipe. Ideally, shop for fair-trade chocolate.

Emotional first aid is helpful in dealing with emergencies. It's possible to talk a jumper down; know how to talk with a suicidal person. Panic attacks can be alarming for everyone; understand how to support someone through that. Helping a troubled marriage involves identifying and addressing its problems.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, food, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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