This one was written in 2005, I think for the Pier Pressure competition (now in abeyance). It was published in Streetwise 65, Christmas 2006, p. 17.
BY MUCH TOO MUCH
Bought in accordance with chocolate protocol
(bought on a day when a target's been met),
bought at my turn to buy eats for the meeting and
bought for the lunch that I haven't had yet,
bought in a shortage of metal and paper so
bought using plastic with four digits keyed,
bought two together (the credit card minimum
makes an excuse if you tax me with greed) --
CHOCOLATE FUDGE! And before I start minuting
matters arising and library plan,
heartened because others say they don't want any,
I get as much of it down as I can.
Chocolate fudge! and my biro is stickier
minuting, eating is not quite complete --
put to one side as the meeting is weightier,
nibbled more rarely for surfeit of sweet.
Chocolate fudge. Choc fudge. See, my line grows more slow;
I'd write what's left all spondees if I could
fit contractual obligation into any metre.
It is a sad decline for such a food.
The chocolate protocol referred to is a set of rules I have. I allow myself to buy chocolate, for consumption at a time to be determined by the diet, on calendar days when I have achieved one or more of a set of targets. At the moment I don't seem to be meeting any of them, so the protocol must be said to have been emptied of its power. Clare generously supplies me with chocolate not purchased by me -- a consequence not a cause of that loss.