Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Philip Terman: On the Way to Get Chicken Wings We Listen to a Podcast About a Somalian Struggling to Come to America

Tuesday night is chicken wings night

at the Franklin Hotel—always a rush,

and there are 30 kinds of sauce, from 

Nashville Hot to Ghost Pepper to Adobo–.

So many choices, not to mention

the microbrews—Happy Ending Pale Ale

or Blind Pig IPA or Leafer Madness.

Meanwhile, we leave Abdi the American—

so named because as a child he watched

all the American tv. shows and wrote down

lists and lists of English words and can speak

now almost without an accent—hiding

with his brother in the basement from

the Kenyon police who are rounding up

all the Somalians to throw them out

of the country unless they have anything

left to bribe them with, anything, anything.

Most of the others have turned themselves in.

But Abdi is in the basement with his brother.

There are forty-six minutes left on the podcast

when we arrive at the restaurant. We’re ready to order. 

The apple flavored barbeque. The Blind Pig IPA.


Copyright 2020 Philip Terman

6 comments on “Philip Terman: On the Way to Get Chicken Wings We Listen to a Podcast About a Somalian Struggling to Come to America

  1. kim4true
    July 9, 2020

    Once again, putting our garbled mess of a political system, an entitled society, into perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Barbara Huntington
    July 9, 2020

    This is beautiful and heart breaking. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. maddiemysko
    July 9, 2020

    A masterful poem that runs on narrative, moving forward in time but carrying the weight of one full moment in time–its implications. Connectedness in a broken world . . . this poem reassures me the poetry can save us, maybe. Thank you. I tweeted it out. I will share on FB, too

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jose A Alcantara
    July 9, 2020

    It feels weird to applaud a poem that tells of such injustice but this is so well done. May your poem ripple in directions far and wide.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Saleh Razzouk
    July 9, 2020

    i know nothing about all dishes included in the poem. but i have an idea about being forced to live in a basement. now i keep my books in the basement but i my self float among clouds soul with no body. notion with no figure. we are even. books being in the house of dead and soul in the place of nothingness.
    like so i read this warm poem.

    Liked by 1 person

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