A Poem to Share at BCTELA

I love this! I have used this at the Grade 11 level.

You Can’t Write a Poem About McDonald’s

Ronald Wallace (b. 1945)

Noon. Hunger the only thing

singing in my belly.

I walk through the blossoming cherry trees

on the library mall,

past the young couples coupling,

by the crazy fanatic

screaming doom and salvation

at a sensation-hungry crowd,

to the Lake Street McDonald’s.

It is crowded, the lines long and sluggish.

I wait in the greasy air.

All around me people are eating—

the sizzle of conversation,

the salty odor of sweat,

the warm flesh pressing out of

hip huggers and halter tops.

When I finally reach the cash register,

the counter girl is crisp as a pickle,

her fingers thin as french fries,

her face brown as a bun.

Suddenly I understand cannibalism.

As I reach for her,

she breaks into pieces

wrapped neat and packaged for take-out.

I’m thinking, how amazing it is

to live in this country, how easy

it is to be filled.

We leave together, her warm aroma

close at my side.

I walk back through the cherry trees

blossoming up into pies,

the young couples frying in

the hot, oily sun,

the crowd eating up the fanatic,

singing, my ear, eye, and tongue

fat with the wonder

of this hungry world.

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