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by Jeffrey Ross
with special thanks to William Wordsworth

I studied slowly as pain allowed

Inspired by the student who said, "Cafeteria food sucks."

Inspired by the student who said, “Cafeteria food sucks.”

My head still hurt from that six pack,
When all at once I sensed the cure,
A silver tray of Kipper Snacks;
Within the pantry, just out of light,
The tab-topped can would prove me right.

Nutritious– yet most bones are fine
And healthy in their sea-salt way,
They sleep in gentle mustard brine
More than homely cheap fillets:
An even dozen packed per chance,
Headless fish all crammed askance.

The books beside them danced; but they
Mocked my student budget (nearly broke):
A miser could not be but free,
In such economic company:
I hoped—in hunger–but little cared
How my friends at big buffet had fared:

So oft, when on my phone I scan
Avoiding tests or papers due,
I gaze seaward with a fishy eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure cracks,
And rejoices in the Kipper Snacks.