the first slice

The first slice of a meat or cheese off a deli slicer has various fates. Most often it's either thrown away as misshapen, or given to the customer as a sample. Sometimes, if they wanted a very thick chunk, it's the entire order. Other times, if I've decided to refill a tray by hand and am feeling hungry, I'll curl it up in my palm to eat later while I heap up the rest of the slices in the tray in the appealing (but difficult to unpeel) little flower-like bunches which are standard for some reason.

Edit: Oo! I changed it around and completely re-wrote a stanza. It is much more focused now, and better I think. Yay for edits.

I prayed for knowledge many times, but wisdom once, and often
now I'll ask for wisdom, light that's clear when edges blur.
Let it bear up under me when my resolve would soften,
grasp and aim my actions, so that new new things occur.

Oh, I strive to think, emote and pray with great precision,
but precision's useless if I have no end in sight.
Every hand I shake, each door I open's a decision;
none of them are evil yet I can't say which is right.

Confident and humble--sugar water, bitter lemons,
worry and ambition barely balance with good taste.
Am I Rudyard Kipling, Leonard Cohen, Samuel Clemens,
or some upstart deli clerk who ought to know her place?

Time is razor-sharp, so best be careful how you spend it.
One main chance cut open lets ten others wilt, untouched;
each untasted fruit may cry that you did not befriend it.
What you make must answer what you did not want as much.

Do something! Find out if you're a good or bad example.
Move your weak flesh forward, even if it's a a crawl.
Push the meat across the blade, and carve yourself a sample.
Taste and see if your heart has blood in it after all.


aussiewoman said...

I read it silently and liked it but when read aloud it is delicatessionish!(That's a positive from Oz)

Fiat Lex said...

Thanky, and for your kind comments before!:D And belated welcome to my blog, which has sort of turned into my poetry journal. Hope you like the edited version of this one as well.