They eat out

By Margaret Atwood b. 1939 Margaret Atwood
In restaurants we argue
over which of us will pay for your funeral

though the real question is
whether or not I will make you immortal.

At the moment only I
can do it and so

I raise the magic fork
over the plate of beef fried rice

and plunge it into your heart.
There is a faint pop, a sizzle

and through your own split head
you rise up glowing;

the ceiling opens
a voice sings Love Is A Many

Splendoured Thing
you hang suspended above the city

in blue tights and a red cape,
your eyes flashing in unison.

The other diners regard you
some with awe, some only with bordom:

they cannot decide if you are a new weapon
or only a new advertisement.

As for me, I continue eating;
I liked you better the way you were,
but you were always ambitious.

Margaret Atwood, “They eat out” from Selected Poems 1965-1975. Copyright © 1974, 1976 by Margaret Atwood. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Source: Selected Poems (1976)

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Poet Margaret Atwood b. 1939

POET’S REGION Canada

Subjects Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Living, Eating & Drinking, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Margaret  Atwood

Biography

Regarded as one of Canada’s finest living writers, Margaret Atwood is a poet, novelist, story writer, essayist, and environmental activist. Her books have received critical acclaim in the United States, Europe, and her native Canada, and she has received numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and the Governor General’s Award, twice. Atwood’s critical popularity is matched by her . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Marriage & Companionship, Relationships, Living, Eating & Drinking, Activities

POET’S REGION Canada

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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