Poems of the Week

The Way They Were

by Bruce Bennett

“Anglo-Saxon Kings Made Sure to Eat Their Vegetables, Study Shows”
The New York Times

Egbert, Aethelwulf, that crew
ate the same as me and you.
Though they craved some special dish,
they didn’t always get their wish.

Though at holidays their feasts,
like our own, were filled with beasts,
ordinary days they’d eat
vegetables instead of meat.

Hollywood had got it wrong.
Royals, large and loud and strong,
gorging out on what they’d please?
No, they ate their beans and peas.

Maybe scenes should be reshot?
Focus on the fork and pot.
Show how they were just like us,
nibblers on asparagus.

Think of how our kids would gape.
No more sword fights, orgies, rape!
Peaceful men in quiet rooms,
smiling, as they ate legumes.