(with apologies to Lord Tennyson)
Half a loaf, half a loaf,
Half a loaf onward.
All in the belly at once,
Toasted and buttered.
“Downward the raisin bread,
Charge past the gums!” she said.
Into the belly, the crunch
Echoed and sputtered.
“Forward the Midnight Raid!
Slather the marmalade!”
(Not tho’ the sleeper knew
Someone had plundered.)
Pizza and pudding cup,
Hers not to pass ’em up.
Cookies? Another batch
Scavenged and down the hatch.
Mirror to right of her
Mirror to left of her
Mirror behind her,
Back to the cupboard.
“Diet begins at dawn,
After the gravy’s gone,”
Humbly she blubbered.
Mary Boren, 1998
As summer settles in, my silhouette
expands accordingly. The deadly sin
of gluttony results in deep regret.
I wish I’d left the Fritos in the bin
and pepperoni on the plate. The skin
around my middle wobbles like a bowl
of Jello balanced on a bowling pin.
My appetite runs rampant, self control
a fleeting and elusive bid to win
the battle of the bulge, to my chagrin.
While brooding on the shape my thighs are in
(a ponderous accomplishment beset
with sedentary decadence), my chin
has doubled twice — it’s now a full quartet.
Last week outside the Chinese luncheonette,
some children throwing pennies in the hole
mistook me for a Buddha statuette.
It’s clear enough to see, I’m on a roll
with jam and butter, reaching with a net
for anything I haven’t eaten yet.
Mary Boren, 2010