How Now, Brown Cow?

ups

Sometimes poetry gets silly. Goofy. Clever for its own good.

Consider Alice N. Persons’ ode to the UPS man. Turns out, it is an ode to the little-appreciated color, brown, as well. “How now, brown cow?” as they say in speech class where rounded vowels are practiced. Let’s take a look at the package wrapped in plain brown fun:

 

Why I Have a Crush on You, UPS Man
Alice N. Persons

you bring me all the things I order
are never in a bad mood
always have a jaunty wave as you drive away
look good in your brown shorts
we have an ideal uncomplicated relationship
you’re like a cute boyfriend with great legs
who always brings the perfect present
(why, it’s just what I’ve always wanted!)
and then is considerate enough to go away
oh, UPS Man, let’s hop in your clean brown truck and elope !
ditch your job, I’ll ditch mine
let’s hit the road for Brownsville
and tempt each other
with all the luscious brown foods —
roast beef, dark chocolate,
brownies, Guinness, homemade pumpernickel, molasses cookies
I’ll make you my mama’s bourbon pecan pie
we’ll give all the packages to kind looking strangers
live in a cozy wood cabin
with a brown dog or two
and a black and brown tabby
I’m serious, UPS Man. Let’s do it.
Where do I sign?

 

Unlike 99.8% of men, the UPS man always brings the right gift because — shazam! — it’s what the lady ordered!

The thought of eloping in a “clean brown truck,” though, is too much. So much, in fact, that the reader is already on board and heading to Brownsville (where else?), where discerning customers and drivers can tempt each other with “luscious brown foods — / roast beef, dark chocolate, / brownies, Guinness, homemade pumpernickel, molasses cookies.”

Before long everyone’s hitting the hard stuff. Sweetly, though, in the form of “mama’s bourbon pecan pie.”

It comes without surprise that the ultimate getaway is a “cozy wood cabin” (brown) with a “brown dog or two / and a black and brown tabby” to boot.

The final flourish? Circling back to the routine of UPS deliveries:

“I’m serious, UPS Man. Let’s do it. / Where do I sign?”

Notice how this mad love is offered to someone who remains distantly-named: “UPS Man.” For the purposes of humor, the UPS man is not so much an individual with distinct looks and personality but a type. Maybe an archetype. You know, like wizards and fairy godmothers who have forsaken pumpkin coaches for an always-turning-right UPS truck.

Signed, sealed, delivered, the poem is yours. Thank you, Alice, for making the simple point: Poets can have fun, too.

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