A Sunday Poem — “Salami”


Once, behind the deli counter,

there was a 4-foot salami.


The centrepiece of the display.


Little changed

when the first customer

asked for eight razor-thin slices

for a sandwich.


Still larger than life.


Another customer

took another few slices.


This one wanted twelve

to send with her kids

to school.


That one, thirty for a party.


One even ordered a-pound-and-a-half

for a corporate luncheon.


I see where the salami used to be.

Only the tail end is left;

a shadow of its former glory.

Customers ignore it,

look for another chunk to sink their teeth into.


Once, in the heart of Ottawa,

there was an Experimental Farm.


(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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