If you’re a vegetarian, please go away.
If you’re a rapacious omnivore who’d rather eat a pig than dine with one, toodle-oo.
Just to be on the safe side, if you tend to giggle, guffaw, or snort uncontrollably at the slightest provocation, better go back to your little corner until we’re done here.
I simply can’t be held responsible for people who like to laugh for no good reason. And, please, in the name of decency, make sure your feet are clean before you read this poem. (Was that a smile? Stop that, immediately!)
THIS LITTLE PIGGY WENT TO MARKET
is the usual thing to say when you begin
pulling on the toes of a small child,
and I have never had a problem with that.
I could easily picture the piggy with his basket
and his trotters kicking up the dust on an imaginary
What always stopped me in my tracks was
the middle toe — this little piggy ate roast beef.
I mean I enjoy a roast beef sandwich
with lettuce and tomato and a dollop of horseradish,
but I cannot see a pig ordering that in a delicatessen.
I am probably being too literal-minded here —
I am even wondering why it’s called “horseradish.”
I should just go along with the beautiful nonsense
of the nursery, float downstream on its waters.
After all, Little Jack Horner speaks to me deeply.
I don’t want to be the one to ruin the children’s party
by asking unnecessary questions about Puss in Boots
or, again, the implications of a pig eating beef.
By the way, I am completely down with going
“Wee wee wee” all the way home,
having done that many times and knowing exactly how
~ from BALLISTICS by Billy Collins (Random House, 2008).
Startling Confession #2468: I’ve never eaten horseradish. Am I missing something?
Please trot on over (and wee all you like) to Adventures in Daily Living for today’s Poetical Roundup.