Hunger # 1 by Jesse Alexander
hides with you after 1am (btwn guard shifts)
trying to doze in backseat of your mom’s old blue CR-V (
good sleeping car, she said,
rear seats fold down,
her goodbye factory hands pressing your cheeks
parked under sodium light in the back of the chemestry building lot
next to the dumpster (with half-eaten mcdonalds other students threw out)
sneak into your dormroom (almost pranklike)
when momma’s check runs out
before the end of the month midway into the semester
demanding choices (am selfish):
study me instead of physics
nurse me instead of biology
pay me your undivided attention
cross your arms over your growling stomach
try to close your eyes
and wait for morning.
Judges’ Comments – This poem felt deeply personal and several of the references tugged at my heartstrings and memories, and it still really carried the larger picture of raising hunger awareness, without losing the specific imagery and personal touch How do you tell an entire story in a line? This poem told many. Hunger -- it’s that pair of dangling parentheses.
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