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The Showdown
Marilyn L. Taylor


Okay, Zucchini,
with your sleek Sicilian good looks—
I know all about you and the rest
of the Zucca family, how you start out
small, in the corner of some
respectable old giardino (nobody
even notices) and then you spread,
don’t you, till you’ve moved in on
all the little guys, the beans
and the carrots and cukes,
and pretty soon you’re in charge
of the whole damn fattoria, right?
Well, I’ve got news for you, pal,
you’re past your prime. You’re ripe
to spend the rest of your natural life
in the cooler. Think I’m kidding?
Listen, either play along or it’s
        Ratatouille! Ratatouille!
—a year in the jug for you, Zuke.
And your little tomato, too.

© by Marilyn L. Taylor.
Used with the author’s permission.

Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, is the author of three full-length collections of poetry (most recently, Outside the Frame: New and Selected Poems) and five poetry chapbooks. Her essays and poems have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals  and she has been awarded First Place in several national, international, and regional poetry competitions.  Marilyn is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets and the Wisconsin Writers Association, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Third Wednesday  and Verse-Virtual poetry journals. Learn more about Marilyn who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, at  





Post New Comment:
A seriously gifted poet with an "insane" sense of humor! After reading this I'll never look at vegetables in the same way again... I absolutely loved it. Thanks, Marilyn
Posted 09/27/2011 12:41 PM
Laughed all the way through this poem, Marilyn. Especially good for such a dreary day.
Posted 09/26/2011 03:09 PM
hilarious! loved it! Sharon Auberle
Posted 09/26/2011 11:30 AM
I absolutely loved this poem. Enjoyed the humor and how Italian words were used to add to the gusto.:)
Posted 09/26/2011 10:26 AM
Love it. Perfect ending.
Posted 09/26/2011 10:23 AM
What a fun poem! I am starting my day with a smile.
Posted 09/26/2011 05:21 AM

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