Decent for a Change by Paul Hunter

Monday, March 01, 2010 2:00 AM | Anonymous

Even buying a loaf of bread
you don’t know where you stand
till you get the wrapper off
and sniff and taste it with
some of the expensive spread

you got in the habit
of smearing on cardboard
to kill the taste of it
once you lost your innocence
and started to wolf everything.

Of course you assume
you’re squeezing the genuine article
and you kind of see through the wrapper
but not down between all the slices
or past the curve of each heel

though on the outside as required
by law it says in tiny letters
everything that went in
the dough including preservatives
as well as what to watch out for

but then you bite on it anyhow,
laying it out like a broken paperback
you glue and slap together
to make a quick sandwich
without your reading glasses.

We all know good bread doesn’t last
and the bad you stuff yourself with
in a fit of depression
hangs around forever in the way
when you’re in your right mind

musty green under plastic
blooming with envy
as you keep reaching around it
to get at a little something
decent for a change.

Paul Hunter
Seattle, Washington

Featured on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, Paul Hunter has published fine letterpress poetry under the imprint of Wood Works for the past 15 years. His farming collection, Breaking Ground, reviewed in the New York Times, won the 2004 Washington State Book Award. Companion volumes include Ripening, 2007, and Come the Harvest, 2008.  His new book of prose, One Seed to Another: The New Small Farming, just appeared from The Small Farmer’s Journal. He is reading at the University Book Store on April 13, 7 P.M., and at Elliott Bay Books in its new store on May 2, 2 P.M.
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