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Poem: Brussels Sprouts (Palm Sunday 2016)

By: Chuck Orloski


Tilling time,
a frail farmer’s pitch fork
plunged deeply into dark European soil.
Terrified, and to avoid harm,
100 earthworms burrowed to safety.

It was never a good time to be a worm,
and only one indolent crawler happened
to fall victim to the farmer’s pitch fork.

Condemned to constant agribusiness peril,
a caste of “kind and gentler”
elder worms ruled the soil wisely,
and all came to fear “extraordinary rendition”
to foreign soil…, an existence inside tin cans.

After terrible WW II aerial bombardment,
The 1st Department of Subterranean Security
issued primary advice:
“Proceed downward three inches, keep cool,
cut through weed, rub around rock,
and avoid ingesting killer lime!”

Upon surface,
the dismembered earth worm watched
as the farmer pat donkey, and unloaded
Brussels Sprouts seed from a hemp sack.
On knees, farmer pushed spade into ground,
and made life giving graves for 50 plants!
Menaced and fanatical,
one half of worm fled west to Normandy,
the other beheaded half, south to Byzantium.

Job done, the weary farmer knelt,
took deep breath, and made sign of the cross.
He mumbled “The Our Father,”
but from somewhere deep inside the ground,
he heard slimy voices chant,
“That EU seed you planted this year in garden,
have corpses begun to sprout.” *

* Paraphrased from T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland, I. The Burial of the the Dead..


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