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They Said, "Eat the Broccoli"

by Barry Louis Polisar

They said, "Eat the broccoli," I ate the broccoli,
They said, "Eat the spinach," I ate the spinach,
They said, "Eat the meat loaf, mashed potatoes, peanut butter,
String beans, brown rice, cucumbers and all the other
Things like zucchini squash, pineapple and eggplant,
Bread and butter, macaroni, corned beef, ham, also Bologna,
Lemonade and grape juice, Quiche Lorraine and cous-cous,
Chicken fried and baked and broiled, mushroom stems stir fried in oil...
And don't forget when you are through, we'll have some dessert for you.
There's apple pie and brownies, peaches, plums and nectarines,
Cookies, cake and candied sweets and yogurt mixed with cottage cheese,
Lemon custard, apple strudel, luchen kugle (it's cooked with noodles),
Drippy, runny ice cream cones 'cause kids can't live by bread alone."

I ate so much my tummy hurt, I popped the buttons off my shirt.
I bulged so big, I split my side, But still my plate was piled high.
I said, "I think I've had enough," they made me eat more--I was stuffed.
I cleaned the plate, now everywhere, people poke and point and stare.
Whenever I go down the street, people stop to look at me.
I ate and ate and ate and ate and now they say I'm overweight.
Can't fit through doorways or in chairs, I tell you it just isn't fair.
I break the sofa when I sit, can't go to school 'cause I can't fit.
I fall asleep, I break the bed, but I've always done what my parents said.

When they said, "Eat the broccoli," I ate the broccoli,
When they said, "Eat the spinach,"I ate the spinach...

Copyright by Barry Louis Polisar



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