#27: Eggs In Your Beer


Today’s assignment from the NaPoWriMo website was to use a search engine to look up some common proverb or phrase and to use the results to make a poem. This is one my mother often used anytime someone became petulant and demanding. Not much of this poem comes from my search engine results, only the lines conjecturing the etymology of the phrase.

Eggs In Your Beer

What do you want?
Eggs in your beer?
We’re always dissatisfied about
something or another.
Nothing is ever good enough
and we are never quite happy.
Always a hole to fill,
always an empty spot
where some thing or some one
should go. Always a thing
we want to be doing
that we’re not doing,
always a thing we want to have
that we are not having,
like an egg
in a beer–
some time ago
believed to be a kind of
aphrodisiac, but then,
after world war two,
the phrase
came into common
usage as a commentary
on shortages and rations,
particularly of eggs and beer.
I think of my mother.
She used the phrase
on us whenever we
complained about anything.
Today, I use it on myself
inside my head
over and over
as I struggle with and try
desperately to let go of
all of the ways in which
not good enough
resonates in the empty chambers
of my heart and head.
Too often I want eggs
in my beer whether
I need them or not,
whether I deserve them
or not, despite the fact
that everything in my life
is qualitatively and quantitatively
absolutely enough.

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

2 thoughts on “#27: Eggs In Your Beer

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