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Where Late the Sweet Bird SangTo Michael Foster's previous piece     Leaving ComplacencyTo Michael Foster's next piece

Easy Street

            I do too understand suffering...
      I wasn't tapped by Chi Omega.
                              --First Wife

                  I would think of myself as a fortunate
            young man--quite fortunate--
      if I were a young man.

It would be a mistake to think
that this poem is about suffering
or, on the other hand, that it offers
another variation on the joke--
the one you might remember
if you learned about being poor
before you took sociology
otherwise, would tend to forget:
If I had some ham
      I'd have a ham sandwich
            if I had some bread.

I have ham:
Westphalian, prosciutto, Smithfield
and the increasingly wise choice
95% lean.  And bread: rye, pumpernickel,
baguettes (though frozen).  And several
varieties of mustard.  I checked;
minimized the word processing window
walked across the study, down
the stairs, cut back across the lower floor
and looked straight into the refrigerator.
I could have buzzed on the intercom
for my wife--the current one who makes
up so much of the reason I feel fortunate
more than a little of the reason
I no longer think of myself as young,


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