(This humble poem is dedicated to Sister S. with love.)
Ode to an Italian Sandwich
There it is! Here, I embrace
Italian sandwiches to stuff my face.
If you are not New England born,
You may look down your nose in scorn;
But if you want what’s good to taste,
To the Northeast you must make haste.
We have a secret: Italians fall
Not in Italian food at all.
They rest on long white rolls instead,
So soft, so fresh, like Wonder Bread,
As from your childhood memories
Of white bread, with American cheese.
Ham, baloney, salami and more
Selections you make, in the store.
And these aren’t made in restaurants
But at corner stores. And you may want
Tomatoes, olives, pickles dill;
Green peppers, (if you have the will
To eat that belladonna kin.
That kind of strength, I’ve not within.)
Then, olive oil is poured on top,
With salt and pepper to make it pop.
Italian sandwich bites begin
To make the oil run down your chin
Onto your hands, your face, your clothes,
And even up around your nose.
Though other states may loud complain,
The best Italians come from Maine,
And Subway cannot e’er remake
Italians. And for goodness’sake
Don’t call them Grinders, Subs or such;
For Mainers, that may be too much.
But come now eastward. You will find
Italians, best for humankind.