Monday, July 27, 2009


cheese curds
we had gone out all night
and again that morning
and here we were
in the middle of the afternoon
across the bridge
over the river
the Piscataqua
at another table
in another bar
another juke box
the two of us
telling the same stories
the same jokes
what a couple of young fools
we were
who someday would only amount
to a couple of old fools
we sat at there laughing
when the boy from Wisconsin came up
he held out a bag of cheese curds
and said, “they normally squeak
when you bite into them, but I opened them
this morning and the squeakiness has gone away.”
I reached in and pulled out a cheese curd
and my friend did too
we chewed them down
and I said, “wow, that is some good cheese.”
the boy went on to tell us about Wisconsin
how they had the best cheese
in the world.
“I believe you,” I said to him, “because I once
ate a grilled cheese sandwich there
and it was the best I ever had.”
he smiled and held out the bag again
and said, “help yourself. I just got married
and I’m the happiest man in the world.”
he returned to the bar
where two men had ordered beers
he said to the bartender, “put those
beers on my tab, please.”
then he looked over at us
and he pointed and said to the bartender,
“their next beers are on my tab, too. Please,
I’m so happy because I just got married. I’m the happiest
man in the world right now.”
in this way he went around the bar
offering the other men cheese curds
and paying for all their beers
after a couple rounds my friend and I got up
we thanked the boy for his generosity
and wished him the best with his marriage
and after leaving the bar
I turned to my friend and said, “man, those
Midwestern boys, they’re some of the nicest people
in all of the whole wide world.”

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