The Way it Was

My mother stirred something on the coal-stove
that smelled so good I squirmed with hunger. Jamie and I
were doing  geography.  He wrote The Major Exports
of Brazil across the top of a lined tablet. I looked
at the map – all those rivers!  "Don't you wish
we were on a boat on the Amazon? We'd stretch warm
in the sun with monkeys and parrots in the trees
and fruit falling into the boat from overhead and fish
we could almost catch
with our fingers?"   Jamie said think what else
might fall into that boat, suppose it was an
anaconda, did I want to be squeezed to death?
And if fruit really did rain down, which he doubted ,
how would we know what was poisonous
and what we could eat?  Now, name the major
exports of Brazil – but just then
we heard father stamping snow off his boots
in the back porch, and mother hurried
to set that pot of delicious smells
in the middle of the table.

Lois Hayna

If you've any comment on this poem, Lois Hayna would be pleased to hear from you.