At Subway I ask, What do you want?
He says, A piece of bread, a piece of cheese,
and another piece of bread.
Grilled? I inquire.
Of course not, he answers.

At McDonald's I ask, What will you have?
He replies, A cheeseburger.
Catsup? Pickles? I ask him.
A plain cheeseburger, he says with disgust.

At Woody's Pizza I ask, What'll you have?
He says, A pizza with cheese all over.
Sliced? I inquire.
He doesn't bother to answer.

At Grandma's house I don't have to ask.
Grandma knows what he likes:
How about a piece of bread, a piece of cheese,
and another piece of bread?
He flashes his biggest smile.

Bill Roberts is a retired nuclear weapons consultant, still holding out for the day all WMD disappear for good.
A thousand of his poems have appeared in nearly 200 small-press and online magazines over the past 15  years.
Bill gives a seminar on how to write a poem a day in 15 minutes, then take it to market. He lives almost invisibly
in bucolic Broomfield, Colorado. Contact him at


Not having kids or grandkids of our own, I like to tune in to what friends tell me about their own experiences. Riding back and forth to the infamous laboratories at Los Alamos in New Mexico, one colleague bragged about the stubbornness of a grandchild, a little boy about seven who was very particular about what he ate and what he didn't. It was mainly that "one slice of bread, one piece of cheese, and another slice of bread" that stuck in my memory all these years. Therefrom, the essence of this poem. Thinking back, I was probably a lot like him in my childhood: "A piece of Wonder Bread, a slice of bologna, another piece of Wonder Bread." Yummy.



Copyright 2009