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Cervantes' Straw
Randy Mazie


I used to be a champion at speed sipping
chocolate milk through a straw.
I liked the old paper straws, the ones with red and white stripes that
twisted Ďround each other. The plastic ones with the large
roller coaster loops were fun to watch, but took too much time.
The chocolate flew upside-down and loop-de-looped wildly
until I got yelled at by Ma to stop playing with my drink. I hated
the ones with the crinkled neck that you could bend in all directions
to fit the angle of your mouth. The crick-crick-crick of that articulation,
like a transit bus bending round a corner,
was as bad as my friend Santos cracking
his knuckles on each fist, one at a time.

I decide to challenge my grandson to a sipping contest
while we are chowing down on burgers and a basket of fries.
Under the guise of having been the best sipper when I was his age,
I boast that, like a knight of old, I could smite the best chocolate milk suckers
like I was dispensing deplorable jousters at a spring tourney.

Huh? is his response. What are you saying, Grandpa?
Never you mind, I say. Do you dare try to rise to this challenge?
Because, in the end, you will writhe in the morass of chocolate milk despair!

I donít understand a word of what you're saying, Grandpa, but, yeah, Iím ready,
his face aglow with anticipation.
Then let us dye our lips, I cry, with that sweet, brown substance!
Pointing heaven-ward, I finish with,
May the gods of yore smile upon us both!

Oh, Grandpa, whatever. Just start sipping and get ready to lose.
I raise a gray and hairy eyebrow towards him, smile, and purse my lips.

© by Randy Mazie.
Used with the authorís permission.

Randy Mazie grew up in New York City, made South Florida his home for many years, and now lives in the North Georgia mountains. He has Master's Degrees in Social Work from Columbia University and Business Administration from Barry University. Randy's non-fiction work has been published in professional journals and his poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. Learn more about him at





Post New Comment:
An absolutely charming poem. Thanks, Randy!!!
Posted 09/15/2020 10:44 AM
Thank all of you for your comments. It was fun to read them. Liked the straw wrapper blowing contest idea and may try my hand at writing one about that. Randy
Posted 09/15/2020 08:12 AM
Maren O. Mitchell:
Randy, this is a poem to be proud of! I can remember hearing you read it many months ago, pre-covid.. Everyone smiled and felt good. Thank you again! Maren
Posted 09/14/2020 10:30 PM
Lori Levy:
Great! Love the humor.
Posted 09/14/2020 04:07 PM
I love poems that make me smile. This is a good one!
Posted 09/14/2020 03:29 PM
What a fun moment to capture in words!
Posted 09/14/2020 02:52 PM
Linda Lee Konichek:
This poem is delightful!
Posted 09/14/2020 02:49 PM
Nancy R:
And it has to be CHOCOLATE, not STRAWBERRY. And don't forget blowing off the paper wrappers. My grandma and I had that contest.
Posted 09/14/2020 10:57 AM
Well done, Randy! I love the befuddled boy and the romantically delusional grandfather.
Posted 09/14/2020 10:13 AM
michael escoubas:
Totally delightful, Randy. Thank you, I would definitely lose the match to my grandsons!
Posted 09/14/2020 09:30 AM
I waited for the final gargle.
Posted 09/14/2020 09:06 AM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I enjoyed this funny poem of a Grandpa having a chocolate sipping contest with his grandson. Thank you Randy.
Posted 09/14/2020 08:28 AM
Larry Schug:
Spoken like a true Grandpa! And grandson.
Posted 09/14/2020 08:24 AM
LOve love love this! "Dispensing deplorable jousters" one of many great phrases. What a lucky boy your grandson is!
Posted 09/14/2020 05:16 AM

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