“Danish Girl About Town,” by Harvey Soss

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Let us postulate Hamlet had knocked up Ophelia,
Quietly, on the sly.
And, before dying, she gave birth.
What would their many-times-great-granddaughter be like,
Would she ever be able to make up her mind?
At Costco;
At the salad bar.
Mixed greens or romaine.
Thousand Island or balsamic vinaigrette.
To add or not to add a hard-boiled egg
With just a spot of yolk poking through,
Resembling the yellowing bleached skull of that Yorick
Her many-times-great-grandfather knew.
Throw in croutons, to crown the dish.
                                            Or not.
How does one say
“Eeny meeny miny mo” in Danish?

I bet she would hesitate
Picking out an outfit to wear each day,
Having to leave herself an extra hour or so.
And should she grow up to be a day trader
Working out of the longhouse left to her,
Able to get that extra hour of sleep,
She still would have to decide, wouldn’t she,
Once dressed,
Whether to buy or sell,
Whether to invest wisely
Or blow her whole wad on a pale blue convertible.

True, I expect she would look Ophelia lovely,
The sort of Eurydice any Orpheus would glance back for,
Good looks like indecision running in the family.
A Viking north wind blowing through her hair,
Blonde and braided as befits royalty.
Croutons bouncing out of her undressed salad
While she sips a cappuccino.
Or frappuccino.
Or cinnamon almond milk macchiato,
                    hold the cinnamon.
Cruising around Copenhagen
With the top down
As if she owns it.



Harvey Soss has won Writer’s Digest Writing Competition poetry prize awards in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019. His poems have been published in conjunction with the University of Canberra’s Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize (2016), Shabda Press’ Nuclear Impact anthology and elsewhere in the U.S. and abroad. In 2016, he abandoned his law practice, primarily devoted to the criminal defense of indigents, to write full-time. He has since founded and curated the Artful Dodgers Poetry Series at the Montauk Club–a Venetian palazzo-styled historical treasure constructed in 1891 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY–in an attempt to bring deserving work to a wider audience. The series features established poets each month along with a generous open mic in a unique setting, recently designated as one of the top ten places to visit during the annual Open House New York weekend tour of buildings of historical interest.