Warning — Or: The Trials and Tribulations of a Vegan With a Long-Range Plan

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By Elizabeth Speth

(With deep and profound apologies to Jenny Joseph)


When I am an old woman I shall wear cheese
Sprinkled on my shirt where it doesn’t go, and on my widening hips
And I shall spend my pension on prosciutto and mortadella
And raw oysters, and say we’ve no money for kale.
I shall sit down right at the bar when I’m tired
And gobble up steamed clams and mussels and drink dry martinis.
And run my mouth in public railings
Against sobriety and restraint in one’s youth.
I shall go out and barbecue lobster in the rain
And steal the herbs in other people’s gardens
And learn to confit.

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I will wear terrible, elastic clothing and grow more jolly
And eat three pounds of charcuterie at a go
Or only butter and brie for a week
And hoard tuna and sardines and jars of caviar and things in boxes.

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But now we must be vegans that keep
Sustainable farming practices, and avoid taco trucks in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have quinoa for dinner and read the health studies.

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But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

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So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear cheese?

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