Poem of the Week 43

Job Proposal for Gavra, Aged Seven, Who Has Been Given a 452-Page Science Almanac

Today, while going to the shops, you told
your dad and me about the tapeworm’s cycle,
how each untested pork chop means survival.
Thrilled to teach, you would not be controlled.
We got the full McCoy: you had the feeding
habits down, the scolex seeking tenure
in the gut’s sweet, fleshy, floral pasture,
the weight loss, faintness and suspicious bleeding.
Next time we’re in a room of lurching bores
discussing stocks or some upcoming show
or what’s gone floating through their private lives,
I’ll pay you fifty bucks for three whole hours
to tell the buggers everything you know
(plus bonus, when the final person leaves).

—Alexandra Oliver