Green Hills Literary Lantern

Rochester Speaks




Dear, I forgot to mention one tiny detail,

my wife.  It's not my fault!  She was pawned off

like a bad deal on a broken watch.


Or:  everything was proper and romantic

until a fuse blew in her head, turning her inhuman;

Marriage is for humans; I declare us divorced.


How about: you in your virginal white at the altar

blinded me like heaven’s vision, blotted

mortal, raving flesh from my mind?


In my defense, remember that my wife is foreign,

exotic, dangerous, that her legs are just legs

while yours are ivory limbs.


My reason for marrying her then

is as noble as my reason for marrying you

now. I’m sure that the reasons are equal.


In any case, be patient and we’ll shed

that inconvenience in a fire where charred flesh,

anguished screams won’t be clothed in words.


The final touch - I’ll make a rescue attempt that will

ruin me enough to be pitied!  Return and claim me

when no one else will call me a man, or even human.





Eggs were my father’s specialty,

although he made soup too

as long as we didn’t mind it in the can

and at room temperature.


Dad boiled eggs for twenty minutes,

picked them from their cauldron, cursing,

and dropped them into eggcups, a pair

of white ceramic hens with little crests and wattles.


He neatly sliced the egg’s head from shoulders

(or where its shoulders would be),

topped it with a blob of margarine, a shake

of salt, of pepper: voilà, breakfast.


For the first bite I’d scoop out

the entire yolk in one spoon-arc.

The second bite was the wedge

of white scraped from the tiny cap.


At breakfast I first heard the word war;

Dad told us of a country so petty 

that people warred with their brothers

over how to eat hard-boiled eggs.


Little-Endians believed that heavy side

down was correct.  Big-Endians contended

that the proper egg rested tiny side down,

eaten from its fat bottom up. 


This caused war. I looked across

the goldfllecked Formica at my sister.

She was munching toast down to the crust,

making a brown “C” that she’d sneak


under the table for the cat, unless I told.

We sparred out of boredom, yet

I couldn’t imagine even a bit of friction

over something as silly as how to eat an egg.


The Big-Endians, I thought, were wrong,

but didn't deem it worth throwing a rock, an egg. 

I’d still have been willing to include

those misguided townsmen in Tag or Red Rover.




Rachel Squires Bloom’s poems have appeared in The Hawaii Review, Poet Lore, Fugue, Poetry East, Kimera, Nomad’s Choir, The Mad Poet’s Review, Bluster, 96 Inc., Bellowing Ark, Slugfest, Thin Air, Taproot Literary Review, True Romance, Lucid Stone and Green Hills Literary Lantern.  Two of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart prizes.  She is in a doctoral program where her focus is on the linguistic aspects of math instruction.  She teaches fifth grade and lives with her family near Boston, MA.