Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Hershey's Variation (Poem)

A Hershey's Variation

Wherein Hershey recalls those Cutie Pie
lips of his beloved Baby Ruth,

remembers how his sweet Kisses
were hers to win at the Mars Bar's

contest the summer before last:
He'd sworn he could count out

all his competition, first faulting
Juicy Fruit for making a mess

of his girl's Hot Lix lipstick, then
asking LifeSaver to disqualify

Junior Mints on account of the boy's
delicate youth. (Hershey's no Dum Dum.)

He'd watched Good and Plenty take
on Atomic Fire Balls and Hot Tamales;

shook his head when they upped his
odds by 100 Grand. But no worries.

When he saw among contest registrants
Sour Punch and Goobers and Nerds,

he just laughed, calling them
3 Musketeers with Cotton Candy hair

and Jelly-Bellies — traits no Perugina
he knew would dare call Amazin' Fruit.

True, Hershey didn't have a body at all
like the bodies of the Chunky Singles,

or hair the color of a little Bit-o-Honey,
and Rolo had, truth be known, eliminated

Heath Bar to advance to finals, beating
Almond Mounds and Smarties, too,

who'd had to sit out the second round
after bragging about their Whoppers.

If he played things right, Almond King
and that too-old Sugar Daddy would

be gone in a heartbeat. As for Mr. Good
-bar, well-known for mean, dirty dealings,

he'd go the way of the Jolly Ranchers,
a gang pretending to be Charleston Chew,

and those Airheads who'd made a play
for Peeps After Eight and Peppermint

Patty. Don't you know? Their reward
was a couple of Tootsie Rolls and a boot

straight out. Original Herb, judge
for the "Best Kisser" round, kicked

Nestle's Crunch from the bunch,
citing too much rippling muscle in those

carameled arms to deserve little
Baby Ruth's affections. Soon, Kit-Kat

withdrew for reasons unknown, then
Butterfinger missed his lady's mouth

by a wide margin of error. Hershey,
alone now, and the last one standing,

gave it his everything. And what a PayDay
it turned out to be. Just that one look

into Baby Ruth's eyes — they were pure
Starbursts — and Hershey was smothering

her (but gently) in dark chocolate Kisses
to wild applause. And Baby Ruth, who

once again proved she could tell
a winner from a loser — she'd taken

her cues from Sweetarts', after all,
that doll who'd had Dots for Kit Kat,

the contest's runner-up who'd marked
the occasion with a riot of free Snickers

and a side of Twix — she wrapped
herself 'round Hershey in Ricolo hall,

pledging him both heart and soul.
O Henry! she moaned. Let's Take 5!


Some of you may remember "Hershey's Got No Baby Ruth" in which the candy made its first appearance.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Thought for the Day

If you aren't learning, you have not been paying attention.
If you have nothing to say, it is because your heart is closed.
~ Tony Hoagland

Quoted from "Application for Release from the Dream" in Application for Release from the Dream: Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015)

Tony Hoagland (1953-2018), American Poet

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Thought for the Day

[. . .] the things that burn worst in one heart
one must keep silent to keep. [. . .]
~ Christian Wiman

Quoted from Christian Wiman, "The Parable of Perfect Silence" in Poetry, December 2018, page 234

Christian Wiman, Poet, Essayst, Editor, Translator; Professor, Practice of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School

Christian Wiman Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation