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Sunday, October 11, 2015


by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

An original menu from the last first-class lunch served aboard the ill-fated Titanic has sold for $88,000 to a private collector at an online auction. —CNN, October 2, 2015

For the last lunch on the Titanic,
the kitchen served corned beef and dumplings.
We know because one of the men
who was saved in a lifeboat
kept his menu with him,
and over a hundred years later
someone bought the old scrap of paper
for eighty-eight thousand bucks.

My friends, just in case I die tonight,
and just in case it’s a dramatic,
exciting death, I want you to know
that for lunch I had Lay’s potato chips
and a Caribbean Spice smoothie
with protein powder. I didn’t
save the menu, I know, what a bummer.
But it’s written in chalk on the wall
at Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, and if you take
a picture, well, somewhere down the centuries
it might just make a fortune for your kids.

Unlike that lucky survivor, I don’t happen to have
a Turkish bath ticket I can send you.
Too bad. I would have loved one today.
But perhaps at auction
you can make a few extra bucks
if you throw in the knowledge
that the sunflowers were in full bloom,
and the cottonwood trees were golden,
though it was already October 3.

The whole sale would be more profitable
if only I were more famous. Sorry.
Oh yes. Two pickles. I nearly forgot to mention.
They throw them in free with the kids’ sandwiches,
but those pickles might be worth a lot to you.
I hope not many others will die in this disaster,
but know that I am aware as I write this
that there is a sweet danger brewing,
and there are no life boats.

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer lives in Southwest Colorado. Her poems have appeared in O Magazine, on A Prairie Home Companion, in back alleys and on river rocks. One-word mantra: Adjust.