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Einstein's Geese
Tony Gruenewald


Some Princetonians believe†
that simply living within
the 08540 postal zone†
adds at least†
20 points to an IQ.
And they must be convinced†
that even the resident geese†
that loiter at the office parks
and on the outskirts of town
are literate.
How else can one explain
the sign?†
The sign that had to cost enough
to feed and clothe
a family of four for months
in an underdeveloped country.
The sign that reads, "NO GEESE,"
and for added emphasis adds
a picture of a goose
inside the universal†
red slashed circle.†
And being Princeton geese,
they ignore the sign anyway,†
having also inherited†
that ivied sense†
of entitlement.
While in my neighborhood,
the geese lean on
the black plywood hunting dog silhouettes
meant to discourage them,†
smoking cigarettes and making
goose calls at passing women.
And even the park police are†
intimidated. When you call to complain,
they confide in hushed tones,
"Thereís nothing we can do...
Itís best to try to ignore them.

This poem first appeared in Edison Literary Review.
Used here with the authorís permission.

Tony Gruenewald was born in Manhattan, but grew up in the shadow of the water tower of the Edison Ford Assembly Plant in New Jersey. He has worked as a fast food fish fryer, on a loading dock, in broadcast journalism, and as an advertising copywriter. He currently works for the nonprofit Learning Ally and is pursuing a Masters of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University.†Tony is the author of†The Secret History of New Jersey (Northwind, 2009) and his poems have appeared in The New York Times, Adbusters, Exit 13, Slow Trains, U.S. 1 Worksheets and Edison Literary Review. Learn more at

Post New Comment:
as a jersey girl & academic, I can only love this one!
Posted 01/27/2012 02:01 PM
Proves that geese are smarter than men; love this poem! (A good portion of them stay here too in southern Wisconsin -isn't that a contradiction in terms?) Judy
Posted 01/27/2012 12:18 PM
Joe Sottile:
Good one!
Posted 01/27/2012 10:02 AM
Posted 01/27/2012 09:43 AM
The geese keep coming; are they reprobates or is there a literacy problem in Princeton?
Posted 01/27/2012 09:10 AM
ed werstein:
Posted 01/27/2012 09:00 AM
Glen Sorestad:
Tony, you have a wicked sense of humor and geese are a perfect subject for your wit. What an enjoyable poem to start a day!
Posted 01/27/2012 08:59 AM
LOVE IT TONY!! Here in S. TX we have entitled Green Parakeets from Mexico. Our signs are in Spanish!!HA!!
Posted 01/27/2012 08:46 AM
Linda Lee (Konichek):
Jayne,I have to thank you for choosing excellent poems like this one, that also make me smile, in the morning,BEFORE coffee! Not an easy feat. Tony, this one's a gem.
Posted 01/27/2012 08:29 AM
Carol Hauer:
This is great. So funny! I love the images of these "entitled" fowl.
Posted 01/27/2012 08:14 AM
Marilyn L Taylor:
This is very, very funny.
Posted 01/27/2012 08:05 AM
love the poem! still smiling...
Posted 01/27/2012 07:51 AM
me too. superb! the sign is amazing.
Posted 01/27/2012 07:13 AM
Love the poem and the accompanying photo!
Posted 01/27/2012 06:55 AM

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