Today's poem is by Kathleen Lynch


I came here hungry
for milk and flesh—
then plants and other animals.

I came here wanting
to continue being carried
and fed, held

and wrapped, swayed
back and forth
back and forth.

I came here in want
the same way each person
whose face you have ever looked into

came here: needy, afraid,
fierce. I came here thinking
there was something out there

that was not me—
something that could fill me.
I'm telling you I thought I was starving.

A pit formed inside—an actual place
in my chest. Vacant. Painful. Central.
Of course I had a mother

and there were grocery stores
but still I was famished.
I had to learn to forage

and to please and to carry
myself to the tables of strangers
and into the wild woods.

I had to learn that hunger is my beloved
child, the creature of my body
who fills me with emptiness

so I will have to keep getting up,
keep going and going
until I am full.

Copyright © 2002 Kathleen Lynch All rights reserved
from How to Build an Owl
Small Poetry Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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