Grace Paley

(11 December 1922 – 22 August 2007 / Bronx, New York)

The Poet's Occasional Alternative


I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper

the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor

everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one

this does not happen with poems

because of unreportable
sadnesses I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along

Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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