Wanting It All

 [at the Old Depot Restaurant, the menu 

 offers a “You Get It All” garden salad]


How can I not want that, I wonder, 

recalling how my first wife 

would warn, “you can’t have it all,  

you’re chasing rainbows, you know, 

nobody can have it all.”


And now this menu–

only, as I read the description, 

I wonder if perhaps I could get it all, 

but without the anchovies 

and jalapeno peppers, and then 

I begin to wonder what that might mean:                 


Wanting it all, I think, 

wanting it all–

that’s one thing, but aren’t there always 

anchovies and jalapeno peppers? 

And, I think, if I really understood that 

I might have an answer for my first wife, 


though we’re long since parted, 

and I still want it all                  


like Adam and Eve, there in the garden, 

naked and hungry before the fall.

Michael S. Glaser

Michael S. Glaser, Professor Emeritus at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 2004 – 2009. He now co-leads retreats which embrace poetry as a means of self-reflection .He is the co-editor of The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton (BOA 2012) (more at http://www.michaelsglaser.com).

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