"At The Stall" - Polish poem by Jan Brzechwa

At the Vegtable Stall by Jan Brzechwa

At the vegetable stall on market day,
Such conversations are the way:
‘You may lean on me, Mr Dill,
You really have gone through the mill’.
‘Now is that surprising my dear Chive,
I’ve been withering here since five!’
Then to that Kohlrabi says:
‘Just look at robust Turnip’s rays!’
Pea moves to pat Turnip’s blushes,
And to ask: ‘No more crushes?’
‘Thank you, no. Hardly at all,
That’s to say, since the last fall’.
‘But Miss Parsnip is so poorly,
Pale, thin, and quite deadly really.’
‘Oh, what a life!’
Sighted old Knife.
Mr Beetroot keeps his distance
From Miss Onion’s dire insistance:
‘My dear Beetroot, my red darling,
Will you not be my prince charming?’
Mr Beetroot only holds his breath:
‘Away you go, not for all the world’s wealth.
I want a dear beetroot wife,
Without days of crying strife’.
‘Oh, what a life!’
Sighted old Knife.
Then quite suddenly Bean was heard:
‘And you also want to join the herd?’
‘Don’t be too big for your boots’,
To this little Brussels sprouts hoots.
‘Did you ever see the like?’
Bristled Carrot at the fight.
‘Let’s ask Cabbage for some help’.
‘Cabbage! That head’s soft as felt!’
To that Cabbage asks them sadly:
‘Why are you quibbling so madly?
Why the stupid altercation
When soup is our destination.’
‘Oh, what a life!’
Sighted old Knife.

Trans. A. Korzeniowska