Incremental Poetry ~ 37 Lines

Ham and Swiss on Rye

The night is long,
the air is chill.
For some,
this is of no consequence;
while for others,
it is a matter of life and death.

In the house on the hill
lives a woman in her sixties.
Every day she takes her lunch to the park:
ham and Swiss on rye,
with a banana—
Lunch at the park always makes her cry.

In the alley down the road
lives a woman in her fifties.
Every day she eats her lunch in the park:
ham and Swiss on rye,
with a banana—
Lunch in the park always makes her smile.

The woman in the house
will pass the long, cold night
wrapped in a heated blanket.
The woman in the alley
will tremble in a blanket as holey as
the Swiss on her sandwich.

The older woman thinks:
“The night is cold,
and lunch is not enough.”
So, dressed, she finds herself gone
to find the one undressed,
and brings the homeless home.

They both partake of ham and Swiss,
then soundly sleep
when warmed and fed—
a little love,
a little hope,
tucked between two
slices of rye bread.

Copyright © 2019 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

Scansion:
Parallelismus Membrorum
or grammatical parallelism, is of traditional Hebrew origin and dates back to biblical times. Robert Lowth coined the term in his book Lectures on the Sacred Poetry of the Hebrew Nation (1788). More of a technique than a form, the point is to employ parallel grammatical patterns. Often used in prose poetry.

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