Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Poet of MHS

Yeah, I remember high school. I went to Prom with a guy who had sprayed his hair green. I wore a silver dress my mom made for me and glitter eyeliner and a paint pen tattoo. We ate Chinese food before the dance, sitting on the hood of his car. He forgot to bring chopsticks.

Prom Pic, 1994

I liked snacks back then, too. Here's a poem I wrote 14 years ago about the rolls in my high school lunchroom. I had two similar white bread rolls at Fette Sau on Sunday (practically the only thing I like there, as I don't eat much pork - or any beef or lamb - and the sides are lackluster).


A nickel buys warm happiness
from the lunch lady in the
smiling hairnet.

A roll wrapped in napkin and
polite dismissal,
her attention turning to the kid
in line behind me.

She knows I am hooked
on floury carbohydrates and
seems securely defined
in her job - I return
every day at noon,
an addict.

A nickel is so small, it floats in my
backpack - honored to be
traded for a
tiny loaf-like sacrifice.

With a dollar, I could buy
20 rolls and gorge myself
all afternoon but she says
no you may only have
three, or four
on a good day.

I know she is just doing her job,.

How kind and caring you are, lunch
lady, rationing pleasure
so it is always a treat,
a privilege,
to be full.


Jessica said...

This poem was a visceral memory for me. I can almost taste those rolls. It might have even been Anna that introduced me to the 5 cent wonders. I discovered (or did she and Dawn?) that it was permissible to get veggies from the salad bar without paying extra--those still remain my favorite veggie sandwiches of all time, though the roll unadorned was a pure buttery pleasure. Sigh. Thanks.

Jennette said...

Thanks for leaving this comment. I would like three right now.

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