Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." - GK Chesterton

For the last four years I've been a part of a motley group of seminarians, professors, pastors, plumbers and others called "the glimmerings". We are a reading group that also dabbles in poetry and essays. Lois, one of the group members, showed up with the Chesterton quote which resulted in an assignment for poems on cheese. It took me about two seconds to conjure up an image of Eli and his beloved string cheese. Here is the result.

Little man roams

Little man roams
for the world is his throne
King of a kingdom
that encompasses home

Running and climbing
movement never ceased
A hundred thousand kilowatts
of energy in release

Surging through his domain
to establish peace
With the shield of sippy cup
and a scepter of cheese

Flopping and waggling
he conducts his symphony
Two point four ounces
for all to see

Tending his flock
herding sheep on the farm
It’s a milky white flexible
extension of his arm

Better than the cheddar
that melts on his taco’s
Higher than other snacks
it is this he chose

perfect for little teeth
Full of z’s and syllables
it is the string lover’s cheese

But in the grip
of a 19 month old
This edible screwdriver
is better than gold

40% play toy
50% fuel
10% bargaining chip
100% cool

Tear it or smash it
bend it around
Low impact drum stick
to bang and to pound

Abuse is no stranger
to this strung out cheese
But never complaining
it was designed to please

A perfect companion
for after a nap
Even if a stubborn one
takes too long to unwrap

He’ll take it.

And he will love
every last bite
As inch by inch
it vanishes from sight

Living to the fullest
this cheese has won
the love of a child
whose roaming lives on

An every shortening tool
whose work goes undone
Bye-bye string cheese
the end has come

~ Jeff Petersen

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