Tag Archives: books

The Sandwich Thief

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Yesterday I read a post on Facebook (someone else’s post) that I then placed on my FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/RohiniSunderamAuthor

The post is an amusing account of two colleagues and a spat they have over a turkey & rye sandwich. I mentioned that it reminded me of some of the poems in Corpoetry, like The Water Cooler. One friend said she’d like to see what I’d make of that situation in a poem.

And so, here it is!

‘Twas in an office, I heard tell

Of a prankster ne’er do well

He stole, it seems, a colleague’s lunch

And the outcome was a bunch

Of laughs for folk like me and you

But from the posts, it seems ‘twas true

And this is how it went:

 

“Oh sandwich thief, I know you keep

Stealing my sandwiches, why oh why?

The latest one’s turkey on rye.

Grow up you thief, you sandwich thief!”

 

The thief replied, “dear Turkey ’n’ Rye

I have it here, I do not lie,

Ten bucks is all that it will take

To get it back upon a plate.”

 

The victim lashed back with a threat:

“Return my sandwich, thief, or else!

To HR I shall take my ‘plaint

And then let’s see how you will faint!”

 

The Sandwich Thief, did threaten back

“Alas, my dear, alas, alack!

For every hour that you delay

Bite by bite, I’ll eat it away.”

 

Threats then turned to psycho chat

“Why oh why are you doing this?”

The sandwich ‘napper, not remiss

“Tick-Tock” he sent a photo back.

 

But in an office, as we know

Don’t push your luck for it can go

As in this case, to HR’s top

And HR weighed in with a ‘Stop!

 

“Cease! Desist! Return the food

And we’ll not take this any further”

But sandwich ‘napper he’s a boob

Demands a pizza, silly joker.

 

Next he adds an insult in

Threatens not to eat but chew

And then in little mouthfuls spew

The sandwich in a bin!

 

“You’re the worst” our Victim sighs

“I’m not” Our Sandwich Thief replies

And in eloquent prose outlines

The corporation’s ills and its demise.

 

Now, thanks to IT and what not

HR tracked down the wicked sot

“Francis!” they name and shame the chap

“Come and see us, now ASAP!”

 

Now Sandwich Thief, he ain’t so bold

(In fact it almost makes one sicken)

“Please don’t fire me,” he folds!

The turkey made him chicken.

 

 

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After tremors

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Having just finished reading Khaled Hosseini’s And the Mountains Echoed, I recall a conversation I had some years ago in the Bab al Bahrain souk.

 

‘You know, that guy,’ he says

Between the displays

Of Lapis Lazuli and silverware

‘The one who wrote Kite Runner?’

I nod, my eyes coveting

A single large bracelet

Woven with fine strands of silver

Into exquisitely painful

Circles and arabesques

Imprisoning

A myriad stones

Inscrutable opals, amethysts

As purple as bruises on a tender face

‘What about him?’ I ask

Half caressing the bracelet

And pointing at

A pair of earrings dripping

Blood-red garnets

Set in marcasite.

Thinking, ‘what does he know of

Kite Runner, he looks as though

He can barely read

Selling jewellery in a store

Over-stuffed with shawls, rugs, woodworked boxes

And glitzy

perhaps-these-western-tourists-will-like-them

Waistcoats and table runners.’

Then I see it

Desperation woven into tiny errors

in the embroidery

Startled by a gunshot.

So, I ask again

This time waiting for his response,

‘What about him?

The book was so moving, so violent.’

‘Ta-shakor’ he replies

‘But they were like nothing’

He whispers

Holding the silver bracelet up for me

Quoting a price and adding

‘Like the stories I have in here.’

He points at his head and his heart.

I see half a lifetime

As it leaks out of his hands

Torn fingernails

The intricate patterns

Woven by hard manual labour

Deep cuts on the side

From scrabbling down a mountainside

Hiding in caves

Or was it from protecting his face

Against knife attacks?

As he enters the sale

For the day.