Friday, March 17, 2017

Hunger


Each day she welcomed
the knock at her door….
For a few short smiles
the world entered with kindness
carrying the scent of baked bread,
cinnamon, and roast beef.

She remembers the week silence began.
At first she thought it was a mistake.
There was snow, but her street was clear.
Monday was late. That’s all…Monday was just late.
But Tuesday forgot the soup, Friday the apple tart…
Days kept passing without a voice, the sound of a car door,
meals to keep life from surrendering to bone.

Now she listens to memories sing from the photographs on her wall.
A widow was once a wife, a dried womb a mother,
inked words turned poem, a soul led by compassion.

Weary, she sits by her kitchen window
dining on hunger pains, and lonely.
She had lived 80 Thanksgivings
to arrive at an empty cupboard on 81.

Her best lavender dress hangs in the doorway
so they will know it was her favorite color
when a knock returns to the front door.

©Susie Clevenger 2017


11 comments:

Gillena Cox said...

Wow!!! this is potent stuff

much love...

Martin Kloess said...

This is extremely well written. Waiting...

Kim Russell said...

Your poem has a great shape on the computer screen, Susie, and I was instantly drawn in by the first stanza, with the welcome knock at the door and the world entering 'with kindness / carrying the scent of baked bread, / cinnamon, and roast beef'. I like the gentle shift to the 'week silence began' and the thought that it was a mistake - I wanted to know what that mistake might be. I also love the mysterious use of days of the week for the people who brought the food, and the line 'Days kept passing without a voice' evokes abandonment so powerfully. And then you drip the loneliness of widowhood into the poem and it is oh so poignant. A beautiful poem.

hedgewitch said...

The injustice of current events all too vividly portrayed here, but also the basic cruelty of our human condition unmitigated by compassion--the neglected color lavender says it all--really excellent, nuanced and powerful writing, Susie.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

I agree, this is incredibly powerful!

paulscribbles said...

Powerful prose poetry.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow. This will be the plight of millions, thanks to that bozo. One of his weekends in Florida would pay for it all - but he "doesnt see any benefit." Argh. A fantastically powerful poem, Susie. Well done.

brudberg said...

When everything is lost... only that last waiting remains.. the lavender dress added so much to the poem. And that last knock on the door...

Fireblossom said...

I saved yours for last, Susie, cos I knew that, then, I would end with a good poem.

Margaret said...

I get the sentiment and the nod toward what is going on in politics today... but I really don't think such programs will disappear - they will be funded in other ways - at a state level perhaps - at least I hope so. I agree with Sherry - a few less trips to FL... I really don't get the numerous weekend trips! With politics aside - the poem is full of sensory images and my heart went out to her right away...

indybev said...

Eloquently heartrending. Too bad he who is ruthless doesn't read, or you could send him a copy. Let us pray Margaret is correct, and the funding will be picked up elsewhere.