Vox Populi

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Arlene Weiner: Catering the Office Party

I started to plan without any foreboding

Just order some food–how hard could it be?

But Megan was vegan and Ali was halal,

Denise was on Atkins and Roger carb-loading,

Sue ate only salad and drank only no-cal;

and soon I was up the proverbial tree.


I quickly developed an immature urge 

to kick and to sulk, for Nick was allerg-

ic, and Jennifer kosher, and Paul mac-

robiotic, and Lynn ate no yeast

because of a fungus.

Johanna preferred California cuisine

and Alan avoided salt, fat, and caffeine.

There wasn’t an omnivore among us.


Some couldn’t eat ham and some wouldn’t eat lamb;

some couldn’t eat sugar, some couldn’t eat seeds.

So what could I order for our office feast?

And how could I cater for everyone’s needs?

It’s simply delightful that we’re so diverse–

it’s really a blessing, so why do I curse?

Copyright 2019 Arlene Weiner

Arlene Weiner’s latest collection of poems is City Bird (Ragged Sky, 2018)

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