Steven Peterson


Seize the Bread!

My doctor said I’m diabetic,
But here’s what even more pathetic:
To cut my carbs my doc then said,
“It’s time for you to give up bread.”

Adieu baguettes in French cafés,
We’ll rendezvous in better days.
Auf wiedersehen to pumpernickel
I loved with schnitzel and a pickle.

Ta-ta to English muffins slathered
With orange marmalade—a hazard?
Shalom to challah that I wanna
Send me to deli-baked nirvana.

O breads of life, I’ll miss you greatly.
O Youth, who eat bread profligately,
Enjoy! In Latin, carpe panem!—
Before a doctor makes you ban ‘em.

Library Patron on the Loose

“At 1:11 pm, officer responded to a parking
complaint that happened in a municipal lot
near the Minocqua library. It was reported
a vehicle took up two spots. Upon arrival,
officer found the vehicle had been moved.”
— The Lakeland Times (Minocqua, Wisconsin)

The next day at The Diner, breakfast time,
We citizens discussed our small-town crime:

“It must be that old lady with the squint
Who hangs around the shelf that says Large Print.”

“It’s him. I can’t be sure, but I would bet:
That creepy guy who hogs the Internet.”

“My cousin’s friend knows someone with a hunch:
The new librarian drinks wine for lunch.”

“I heard some left-wing kook had parked that car.
Its bumper sticker spelled out NPR.”

“No way. I heard it spelled out NRA.
Some right-wing nut parked there and drove away.”

At last, when all our theories had been aired,
A timid soul coughed twice and then declared:

“I’m sorry to confess that it was me,
Returning, in a rush, a DVD.”

Steven Peterson writes poems and plays in Chicago. His poems appear in Alabama Literary Review, America, The Christian Century, Dappled Things, First Things, and elsewhere. His plays get produced from time to time.