Depression-Era Childhood Faces, Soup Kitchen, St. Louis, Missouri
Image Care of Creative Commons Flickr
What we know of demand theory,
of deep recessions and business cycles
you won't find in books about the great depression.
Where we come from, mice and men both scrap
for potato skins when the light dies. Even the mockingbird frets,
mourning its way for lack of relief at the end of a bread line.
Nothing you've read about last runs on banks as dried up
as Midwest dirt done consuming a day's bucket of water
removes the taste of sparrow bones in our mouths, prevents
our mothers' migration from their harvest-busted fields.
Farmers, unforgiven their loans, offer us bowls of dust
we turn upside down. Patient, we try to curb the appetites
our dreams feed, cinch our lips, keep staring straight out, our eyes
not so good at masking the indifference we reflect back on you.
Hunger, don't you know, can put up a fierce fight:
make do without shoes, a change of clothes, even a new deal
hero. But an empty basket, big or small, just wastes you, waiting
and wanting till your time runs out.
© 2010 Maureen E. Doallas
I wrote this poem for One Shoot Photography Sunday at One Stop Poetry, which today features a Picture Prompt Poetry Challenge using the image shown above.
Anyone may participate in the challenge. Go here to read the two poems introducing the prompt, "The Day After..." by Leslie Moon and "Waste" by Pete Marshall, and to learn what to do to accept the challenge.