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A Fat Kid Watches a Snake Eat a Toad at Camp Ololondo

Paul Vermeersch
From:   The Fat Kid. ECW Press, 2002.


"I am too big, too big by far. Pity me."
         — Elizabeth Bishop
              from Giant Toad

Our Lady of Low-fat Dog Food,
everything here is opposite of good.
The fat kid is fat; the toad is half-
           alive; the mess
hall's starting to reek of the ruddy beginnings
           of meatloaf, and who knows,
maybe the beginnings of life-some staffer tryst
           in the mop closet, or
some egg about to hatch in the crumbs,
           whatever. The fat kid
watches a snake eat a toad ass-first, the topaz eyes
           swell to rubies
with one more slack-jaw gulp.

Finally the toad spreads its gums, gives up the ghoul
and a critically injured cricket, too,
skidding away from all this, silently, on one hind leg.

Aromas and gathering-noise waft in from the mess hall, the bell
           will sound any second.
There isn't much time, he'd hoped there would be, there should be…
           the fat kid
           looks for a stick.



Paul Vermeersch's works copyright © to the author.


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