It’s the end of the month and there’s no food in the house.
|End of the month, no food in the house,
kids are pale and famished...and so it
is that hunger, big as Army brigade,
bellows marching to and fro loud
like dire holler, hollowing wee
cheeks with want, that pitiful
indication of food-less. Little
eyes train on my sympathy,
burn like lasers into my
heart forthright, supplanting
my own gnawing hunger with
winter blues, a season of sadness.
All diversions are marshmallow soft,
candlesticks crushed beneath boot
heel, the exposure of the slight
of hand. I recall when Mom
sent me to the neighbor’s
for a cup of sugar, yet now
a helping of sweet white would
fall short of our immediate need;
that years ago borrowing sufficed
for cake (or an apple, perhaps), yet
now gut pang remains strong-armed
urging, a Mafia Boss, a big kettledrum
irking hammer, a flame beneath seat skin.
If wishes were horses, then beggars would
ride...yet what of beggars? Do they ride at
all with any dignity by their mere existence?
I am a smile at one door; humble with big toe
in the sand at another, culling what I can with
flattery and tuxedo manners. My face at the
frontier of beseeching, yet my heart still at
at home amid plaintive cries--those robin
chicks desperate with craning necks.
A horn of plenty--relatively speaking; a
loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese, sauce
with ground beef, frozen Stouffer’s ready
for the microwave oven. A prospectus
of kindness as neighbors share gladly,
and we, contented, sleep sans dreams.
Writer’s Cramp Winner
—a chunk of cheese
—sauce with ground beef