I know the rumble of a belly,
It seems loud, but hunger is a silence.
It hides in plain sight, descends on the food bank.
Lines of mothers, fathers, grandfathers, children;
heads down, bags hopeful.
Rows of cans and boxes, sodium and fat content high.
Vegetables and fruits coveted by all: a juice running
down a child's chin, the wet smile of sweetness.
Day-by-day worry gnaws at the food insecure
Will there be enough? Can we get more? When
will we be food secure?
Food Bank Deposits
Swim your fastest race, little one.
It's worth three cans of spaghetti.
Each glide, each stroke pulls
in boxes of macaroni. Every 25 meters
a flip turn for the rice. Forget the savory salt
of popcorn as you dolphin kick. Longer strokes
bring tuna can towers, omega-3
fatty acids. Peanut butter smooth freestyle slices
of bread with jelly sweetness to quell the grumble.
Swim meet deposits bridge a community.
Bio: Serena Agusto-Cox was one of the first featured poets of the DiVerse Gaithersburg reading series in Maryland. Poems are in The Magnolia Review, MacQueen's Quinterly, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dissonance Magazine, Mothers Always Write, Bourgeon, and elsewhere. Work appears in the This Is What America Looks Like anthology, Mom Egg Review’s Pandemic Parenting issue, The Plague Papers digital anthology, H.L. Hix’s Made Priceless, Love_Is_Love: An Anthology for LGBTQIA+ Teens, and Midge Raymond’s Everyday Book Marketing.
The poems that follow are powerful evidence that Poetry Speaks Back to Hunger!