Maya Angelou – a poem that made me smile

Like many of you I was saddened to hear of the passing of the great Dr. Maya Angelou. I had the opportunity to hear her speak on one occasion when she came to my Alma matter, West Texas A&M University, and addressed the student and faculty body. She of course was phenomenal, and I will never be able to hear one of her poems or words of wisdom without hearing it through her voice – husky, emotional, playful, and powerful.

Maya Angelou

Over the last couple of days I have seen many of her great and well known poems and quotes surfacing, and it never ceases to amaze me how some of them seem to speak to me and an event or time in my life. But there is one poem that has always made me smile, honestly it cracks me up. Maybe because of my agricultural background, maybe because of my love for meat, maybe because I have a weird sense of humor, or maybe because this poem is so different than the others. Today I bring you:

The Health-Food Diner

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run


Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

What is your favorite Maya Angelou poem?

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