Jonathan Swift Revisited

Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director of Medical Services, Planned Parenthood of America

By Mary Lowell

J.S. at his best never divined
a more progressive audience
for his decivilizing design
put forth in jest three centuries before
the lucrative trade in tender morsels
scored in a petri dish.

To alleviate poverty and hunger
he suggests we eat our own
roasted or boiled with sundry
condiments for the savory sustenance
of reunion picnics, crème d’infant
or rare pink breast.

The proposal languished not only
for scruples of the times but shock
at inhumanity exposed so coldly
by his pen, not supposing then
a swifter means, ripened in our times,
to splay unwanted flesh.

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