Thursday, February 16, 2006

#31 Brand Names

As I was meditating one day on the elements of a good life, it occurred to
me that one of them was immunity to the seduction of advertising, and
freedom from slavery to brand names.

Brand Names

Brand names
are not the work of the devil, I guess
but they seem close—
seducing us to pay more

Yet I do like my bowl of Cheerios
in the morning,
a modest brand name attachment,
my only one, really.
The generics simply
don’t compare.

So I clip coupons
look for sales
argue that I deserve
this one little luxury.

But oatmeal is tasty too
with raisins.
A good bowl of oatmeal hits the spot.

I give myself the oatmeal challenge:
Could I be happy with it all winter?
not pine for the cheery ohs?

Wonder of wonders!
I survive the winter and spring
without a twinge of martyrdom.
In the heat of summer
I experiment,
enjoy home-made granola,
cornflakes (generic is fine)
with fresh fruit (generic too).
I even treat myself
to Cheerios.

They are tasty as ever, it is true.
But they no longer hold
that brand-name power.
Free at last
I look forward to the cool of fall
and oatmeal.

Pamela Haines


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