Lunch Lover

by Catherine Cronin

That’s a red line for me. A big no-no!
And I’ve given this serious thought,
consideration and covert observation,

probably, as far back as our third lunch together,
here, when I finally copped, with horror,
the corned beef. Before that, I was distracted

by the white bread, cheap and gut-clagging,
feeling you were worthy of more nutritious fare.
Actually, it kept me awake one night with worry.

Was it a question of taste or budget?
Taste, I could live with but, budget
might be trickier. I don’t make much

and I should stop working once we have children.
But then, I suppose we’d manage. Love would prevail.
And I had been falling in love with you for days.

That’s why the sandwich contents hurt
so much. I’m vegan! Doing my bit to preserve
Mother Earth for our destined descendants.

I thought better of you, ever since I caught sight
of your dad-bod-potential, your sexy stubble,
and the office-casual style of your Next sweater.

How could you be so inconsiderate
of my feelings? Of our children?
So, this is the end of us. No more lunches.

And to think, tomorrow was the day
I planned on approaching you at last.
You broke my heart, white-bread-man.

You promised to be better than Scotch-egg-bloke,
crossword-cutie and even, flapjack fella,
(who once, smiling, asked me for the time).

The homemade sandwich was so close.
You were definitely in the running.
But I have to abide by my principles.

Tomorrow, I’ll find a different bench,
one with no view of you, or your meaty ways,
to spy or be spied on over plant-based sambos.

Catherine Cronin is an Irish writer currently living in Zurich, Switzerland. After a breast cancer diagnosis, writing became essential for coping with her new way of living. Themes of femininity, home, mythology, and mortality feature in her work. She has written for Irish and Swiss stages and is now working on her first poetry collection.