“Eat it!” my father or mother would say
“You can’t leave the table until you do!”
So there I would sit, staring with hate,
At the lump of rice that tasted like glue.
“Eat it!” my father or mother would say,
As I stared at the wild rabbit stew
They could call it “Hasenpfeffer” all that they want,
But under the name you can bet that I knew.
“Eat it!” my mother or father would say
As the slimy boiled cabbage filled my plate.
I’d think about fainting or at least throwing up,
WHATEVER to escape my dire fate.
“One bite won’t kill you!” my mother would say
As I stared at the brains on my plate.
Thinking it really would serve them both right
If I keeled over dead – like, post-haste.
Thinking back, I can’t help but wonder –
How much of my childhood did I spend
Sitting alone at the kitchen table
Wishing that dinner would just come to an end.
–Sandra Lee Smith