Deli and dungarees

My parents were young

and disheveled, which is why

I am old and disheveled, I think.

They were loosely moored/tightly wound:

‘hug everyone’ seemed to be de rigueur,

only straight As were allowed,

flannels were ok but not dungarees.

There was uncomfortable silence

when new foods were introduced.

Books were everywhere.

There was a great deal of yelling,

like the admonishment

of shitting or getting off the pot

during a thunderstorm

(“you’ll get yer ass electrocuted!”).

Homespun wisdom came from

coal mines and Campbell’s soup,

with a pinch of German deli rye.


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