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The Brave Young Cracker

Alvin Krinst

Through a curdled sea of jelly
     Swam a canny biscuit,
One that dared to rove abroad when
     Others wouldn’t risk it.

Handsome were his crevices, with
     Lettering suggestive
Of his born denomination:
     Genuine Digestive.

His mother in their cozy tin
     Implored her son remain there,
But in his very flour he felt
     Imperatives arcaner.

To Tea! a secret voice intoned,
     To flee the arid pantry,
On foreign plates to lounge with cheese
     And roll on counters amply.

To dunk quite nude in porcelain
     Was what his heart required;
“No dusty box for such as I!”
     His dough sang out, inspired.

One by one, his cookie kin
     Had gone away without a word,
Taken by a beastly boy
     Whose greasy nose erupted curd.

Poor mama stuck to sonny dear,
     She clung to him with crumbs;
She’d rather die than let that guy
     Defile him with his gums.

But crackers have an inner law,
     A restless urge to roam;
And time had come for this young crisp
     To quit his pantry home.

One evening, as the taters snored
     And garlic fouled its pot,
Our brave Digestive popped the lid,
     Whispered, “Forget me not!”

And in a flash he made a dash
     To roll across the floor.
Alas! he cracked in two at once,
     And was a crisp no more.

His biscuit soul, though, roved at will
     And found a glorious platter
Where cheese and jam and olives were,
     All that could ever matter.

The teacup was his plaything then,
     The jar of jam his ocean,
His mother and his sisters near
     In heavenly devotion.


Alvin Krinst