The Theater of Breakfast

by Philip Dacey

Knife, banana, bowl props for the theater
our father staged each day as he gave voice
to slice after slice: “I am the Emperor,
none mightier than I,” till that one’s place
at blade’s edge was usurped by the next.    In vain
the deposed ruler protested “No!” as he fell.
Over and over (with slight voicechanges) this scene
repeated till the knife was empty, the bowl full.

We three halfidentified with all those sure
they had the right to that high perch in the air
and halflaughed at the same so foolishly blind
as to be surprised by the predictable end.
Given that rich food morning after morning,
we children ate heartily and grew up strong.