May 26, 2008

Emptiness

She stares at the long rows of food
Fruit, grains, and beans smile sweetly back
Invitingly, they call to her:
“Pick us! Buy us! Eat us! Be filled!”

She fingers the coin in her hand
Slowly, she shakes her head.
She knows— Not yesterday, today, or tomorrow
Can she taste those delicacies.

Numbly, she exchanges her precious coin
For a pound of shortening and a pound of salt
Poverty has taught her well
Mud cookies are better than nothing.

As she leaves, the foods’ taunt bites her ear:
“Wretch! To eat dirt like a worm!”
“Come,” they dare. “Were we not made for you?”
Temptation. Seduction. And always—

The agonizing pain of starvation.
“This hunger is far worse than death!
Oh, unattainable delights,
Can my emptiness never be filled?”

3 comments:

Serfy said...

was this inspired by a World article?

Serfy said...

I like the combination of narration and spoken words. It gives the poem a nice texture and really adds to the images I have in my mind.

Art said...

Yes; thank you!