Poem by Brenda Gunn
She showed up late
for picture day
ratty toque pulled low
Do you want to take it off? I asked.
For the photo?
she pulled it lower with both fists
My sister tortures me
between savage gulps
of milkless instant oatmeal
from a tiny pack stashed in a locked drawer
in the school office
That’s four times this week the secretary sniffed
as if there’s a moratorium
on food instability
I don’t ask if this one knows where auntie is or if
uncle still finds her and her little sister fake-sleeping
under T-shirt blankets on the couch
She tried to hide
the circle seared into her palm
the scratches on her knees
from the cat,
or so she said
Is there any more?
A note from the poet -- As an elementary school teacher of 33 years, I was often confronted with kids/families living with food insecurity. Ask any elementary teacher, and they will show you a snack drawer/closet/cupboard stocked with granola bars, oatmeal, beef jerky, crackers, etc. usually purchased with their own money, for hungry students. This poem is a reflection of that all-too-common situation.
Click on the file below to watch the video of Brenda reading her poem:
Since retiring in 2017, Brenda's immersion in family research inspired a collection of poetry based on her paternal ancestry. A proud member of the Edmonton Stroll of Poets and the Parkland Poet's Society, her work has been published in Canadian journals and anthologies. Brenda is completing a certificate in creative writing and is at work on a second collection of poems.
10/11/2021 02:30:31 am
I am writing to get in touch with Brenda Gunn. We are publishing a new issue and I read about her poetry (and that of her mother too) in the League newsletter. She can email me at this address and send some previously unpublished poems. Thanks and looking forward to hearing from her.
Hiram G Larew
8/22/2022 03:30:06 pm
Dear Ms. Burke -- I'm so sorry to have been so long in replying to your comment. If you'd like to be in direct touch with Ms. Gunn, her email email@example.com Thanks. Hiram Larew
8/22/2022 11:30:18 pm
Anne! Hiram has just emailed me regarding your message here on the PoetryXHunger website. I am so sorry I had not been aware of it, and would so like to be in touch with you. I have read the Prairie Journal and would be honoured to submit something for consideration. AS Hiram indicated, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Reply.
You can find poets' names under Categories