Blessed Are Those Who Hunger
On the day that 27,000 children died,
my dishwasher flooded its basin. I cradled a bowl,
running my finger around a yellow shroud of curry.
I mourned the scrubbing I would have to endure,
the salesmen with their litany of buttons,
the snake’s nest of disconnected tubes.
Mothers embalmed their children in wet sand.
Fathers folded skeletal bodies in sheets.
The mosquito nets and vaccinations were still
en route, stalled in cargo holds, legislation, hearts.
I did not remember. I opened the dishwasher again
and felt my blood quicken at the sour soup
of food and water, the marinara-flecked plates,
and—Jesus help me—oatmeal stuck to the whisk like bone.
by Tania Runyan
from Autumn Sky Poetry, Number 14, July 2009
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim