Today’s response to MURI’S 2020 CHALLENGE FOR NATIONAL POETRY MONTH. Like the 2019 challenge, this consists of 13 prompts, one for each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in April. They can be completed in any order. If you are interested in participating, click on the above link for the prompts and posting guidelines.
Prompt #8 is “Use these words in a poem – rice, mice, nice.”
Three rhyming words, perfect for a Vers Beaucoup. Very French. Which sparked a memory of a passage in Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris. The author, an American who resides in France part-time, tells of an appointment with his French dentist. The TV is always tuned to the French travel channel. This day, a family in Africa has discovered a burrow of mice. David turns away to answer the assistant’s question and turns back to find the family eating mouse-kebabs they’ve grilled over a campfire. Unable to keep it to himself, he interrupts the dental proceedings, struggling with his limited vocabulary to convey what he has just seen, “Ils ont mange des souris en brochette!” (“They ate mice on skewers!”) Without blinking an eye, the dentist replies, “Ah, oui?” (“Oh yeah?”)
I’m not that cosmopolitan. I have never eaten mice or any other kind of vermin, and thanks to the association of Coronavirus with “alternative meats” in the press, I probably never will. So don’t get all grossed out, the poem is 100% make-believe. The photo is from Google Images but the paper plate looks oddly familiar. I think I may have the same ones.
WHO’S UP FOR TAKE-OUT?
When I’m in the mood for street food, I know a dude
who peddles barbecued mice with a side of fried rice
for a nice price. No more bat, his sales fell flat when
WHO’s Fat Cats found them liable for the viral spiral
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