The anguish in mother’s eyes still haunts me.
It was a miracle, her making food
stretch so far. We were
a humming brood; her smile
hid more than we’ll ever know.

Childhood was a whirlwind of hand-me-downs, government
cheese, bread, powdered milk and
whispered ridicule

from chubbier faces, wearing brighter colors,
that never appreciated tire swings
hung from trees or a jar of lightning bugs
that commanded stares from
wishful young minds.

We didn’t mind circumnavigating
my father’s beer can gauntlet some mornings, knowing
our apron clad savior with Doris Day
countenance, was waiting for us
in the kitchen.

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