A Figurative Analysis


The secret of peacock politeness
is keeping appearances plumed.
No horse ever entered the Preakness
without being properly groomed.

One’s laundry is judged by its whiteness
plus points for a three-cornered fold.
When windows are sparkling and streakless,
the housekeeper’s virtue’s extolled.

Affluence? The public will rate this
as, morally speaking, germane
and celebrate human uniqueness
according to obvious gain.

But…

A manifestation of greatness
akin to a solar eclipse
is proof of a dieter’s weakness.
It’s written all over her hips.

1999 Mary Boren
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Conversation with a Toddler

skinned knee

Mommy, can I pick my boo-boo scab?
No.

Why?
Because you’ll make your boo-boo bleed.

Why?
‘Cause kids with boo-boos always need
to keep out germs.

Why?
In a basement lab
a man discovered bad goo on his hand made
infection. That’s what germs are all about.

Why?
For good goo in and bad goo out,
a boo-boo scab works better than a band-aid.

Can I pick my boo-boo?
No, don’t pick it.

Why?
You’ll never see me picking mine.

Why?
‘Cause it’s against the boo-boo laws …

Why?
… and if you get a boo-boo ticket
you’ll have no money for the boo-boo fine.

Why?
Because, my precious. Just because.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

Photo Source

Use and Care Manual

If my body is a temple
for the Spirit of the Lord,
who’s responsible for keeping
every window, tile and board
in presentable condition,
as befitting royalty?
I’m that nonchalant custodian
entrusted with a key.

The deposit has been covered
with a waiver for the rent.
Grace secured for me a mansion;
I’ve disguised it in a tent.
Curtains sewn from silk and velvet
hang like tattered calico.
Lick-and-promise doesn’t cut it
in the faded afterglow.

It’s a partnership arrangement.
No decision is coerced
from an occupant who doesn’t
choose to serve the Owner first.
But the maintenance is easy
when the basics are obeyed:
His to flood the place with Heaven’s light,
and mine to raise the shade.

cc-by-nc-nd  2002 Mary Boren

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The Young Foodie’s Alphabet

fruit_garden

A is for an Appetite for scrumptylicious food
grown in sun and soil instead of stapled, sealed and glued.

B is for the Broccoli that looks like little trees.
Roaring like a dinosaur, I chomp their heads with ease.

C is for the Cinnamon that’s sprinkled on my toast.
All the other spices cry ’cause I love this one most.

D  is for the Dairy cow that grazes all day long
making milk and cheese that help to build my muscles strong.

E is for the Elderberry, fighting off the flu
like a little soldier in a uniform of blue.

F is for the Fava beans with pods about to pop,
bursting with the energy that makes me skip and hop.

G is for the Gardener who honors nature’s plan.
Earth cannot protect herself from fools, but humans can.

H  is for the Honeycomb that holds a golden treat
pretty as a fairy’s sunny smile and just as sweet.

I is for the Idaho potato someone found
on a farm in Kansas with its head still underground.

J is for the Juice of lemons, oranges and limes
perking up my mouth and puckering my lips at times.

K is for the Kiwi fruit that keeps my skin so creamy
I would want to kiss myself if no one else could see me.

L is for the Lettuce Leaf that makes a salad crunch.
(Only when it’s fresh enough; if not, have beans for lunch.)

M‘s for Macadamia, a heap of fun to say —
tough to crack but packed with vitamins like E and A.

N is for the other Nuts with names we love to mutter,
best of all when roasted, raw, or blended into butter.

O  is for the Onion with its layers paper thin
squeezing out their flavor for the dish we put them in.

P is for Persnickety, a word my mama uses
when I wrinkle up my nose at food that runs or oozes.

Q‘s the sign for Quinoa, packed with protein, low in fat,
bulking up a salad — I could go for some of that.

R is for the Rutabaga, something like a turnip
with a purple bonnet so its topknot doesn’t burn up.

S is for the Sweet potato. Nothing smells like heaven
half as much when two of them are baking in the oven.

T is for expensive Truffles. Those who can afford
pigs to go and dig them up are probably just bored.

U is for Unsaturated fat that comes from fishes —
better for the brain and heart and swimmingly delicious.

V is for the Vinegar that makes a zesty dressing
with a hundred other uses for the household’s blessing.

W‘s for Watermelon. Families who pause
for a summer picnic feel it dripping from their jaws.

X will mark the spot where other natural delights
wait to be discovered in a test of tasty bites.

Y of course, is You, the one who eats nutritious fare
offered by the world’s providers — those who really care.

Z is saved for last because it represents the noise
coming from the sleeping heads of healthy girls and boys.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2014

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Gifted

dr_salk

The annals of significance are filled
with those who like to think they walk the walk
of greatness; minds intelligent and skilled
discovering a better way to build
a world where altruism is instilled,
but few compare to Doctor Jonas Salk.

Before the halls of medicine became
a greed-infested maze, he dealt a blow
against a viral epidemic’s aim
on countless children’s lives, and in the same
unselfish act, renounced commercial claim
on steps to rid the world of polio.

He could have been a multi-billionaire
exerting his proprietary right
to patent the vaccine, denying care
to millions who could ill afford to bear
the cost. He chose, instead, to share
his brilliance like a candle in the night.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2014

As one of the schoolchildren who benefited from the first wave of vaccinations in 1955, I am immeasurably indebted to this gifted healer and humanitarian.

Lamar_Grade2__Amarillo_TX_1955