Cold Vegetable War Era

anyone could tell by the menu
I was raised by a kid
not even young enough to vote

vegetables in my childhood
were onions on a McDonald’s hamburger
which I scraped off

they were mashed potatoes
whipped with heaps of whole milk and butter
which I glazed in gravy

or sort of green
green beans from a can
which I tricked my brother into not eating

the way I refused to eat tater tots
another bygone vegetable
my mom could send to all the starving children

if I ate the iceberg lettuce salad
with lots of Wishbone dressing
then I could have strawberries with sugar

oh–my kids with their broccoli, peas, and carrots
would rise up in a five-a-day rebellion
if they knew my secret vegetable history


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