Monday, June 9, 2014

poem of the day 06.09.14

fast food

she is handing them chicken
from an orange fast food box

a greasy drumstick for one
and a breast for the other

the youngest can’t hold his
so she’s hand feeding him

letting him take a bite
and then process it while she waits

i catch her sniffing the chicken leg
but she doesn’t have one for herself

she gets the biscuit that comes with the meal

the whole train car smells
of bread and grease, flesh and salt

people are shifting uncomfortably around them
for she has brought the hunger to all of us

her kids look so worn out
dirty and tousled from the day

the sun is still glaring in the ugly blue sky
but the middle child has his eyes closed
while he chews on the chicken leg

the older one doesn’t know what to do with the breast

he holds it
he picks at it while it rests on his jeans

eventually he lets it go
until his mother slaps at him to pick it back up

she hands him a napkin
and then gives the baby another go at his food

the whole small family
having their dinner on the d train home
tired and overworked and under-schooled
munching on the best deals in town

tonight it is chicken
tomorrow it may be burgers
or submarine sandwiches

the fruit of life
whose bright wax paper
and colorful cardboard
end up swirling like ribbons in the street

clogging our arteries
and our rusting drains.


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