The Health-Food Diner – A Poem by Maya Angelou


This is an “Ode to Meat” and I am sharing it just for fun.

The Health-Food Diner

by Maya Angelou

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots

And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).

Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I’m dreaming of a roast).

Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).

No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
Are sure to make me run


Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).

Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.

Reprinted from “Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?” (1983)

Thank you Sondra Rose for bringing this delightful poem to my attention.

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