Sunday, January 5, 2014

Month of poetry #4: Breadline

She interviewed like a damp butterfly.
Spoke of the slide toward food stamps
that didn't spread to weeks' edges.
Looked past my shoulder, eyes right,
while words leaked out like tears
she didn't even see me. No additives,
artificial flavours or attempts to spice things up.
The bolshy ones would beat the devil
around the gooseberry bush before they'd arrive
at final poverty of "only rice". They'd pull out the
picture perfect of easy-livin', dog-eared
and worn thin with insistence. Not here.
"In the next room, I was able to hear my
sons' cries for what they were, and what they
were was hungry and too brave to tell me."
Long past the fragile crust of bread and a job to call pride
her eyes looked dark down a long platform.
Sugarloaf tops scammed stale from an Asian bakery
masqueraded as a dinner indulgence;
drowned out the creak of empty cupboards.
Home from school, they brought none of
the rawkish clatter of siblings. They sat
as soon as possible, eyed me as a stranger
but diverted the energy of interest.
It was clear from the angle of repose
how these children were hungry.
The pale young bodies, all awkward angles
and juxtapositions of heredity and circumstance
still trying to grow on scraps of the background.

Includes suggestions from :

@spikelynch: angle of repose
@attentive: spice things
@margolanagan: angles and juxtapositions
@eglantinescake: I was able to hear my son's cries for what they were (The Whole Brain Child)
@JayJayCee1: scraps of the background (Adobe Photoshop textbook)
@matchtrick: easy livin' dog
@ernamalleyscat: long platform, sugarloaf tops
@lalscotton: she didn't even see me
@GretaPunch: crust of bread and a job
@realnixwilliams: beat the devil around the gooseberry bush

That's a lot of suggestions! I might have to set an upper limit to avoid writing an epic cycle every day...for your sake as much as mine...

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