thin milk

i feel the weight
of unbaked
chocolate chip cookies
herb gardens gone wild and mindless
pots of chicken soup. i lack
the apron
the crock pot
and the stew

i never knew
the smell
of fresh baked bread or
fish on Friday
aproned embraces
or homemade butter tarts.

lunches of anything
other than
Sandwich Spread
spelled love
to me
yet i mothered.

i learned from Spock and Piaget
not from you, Mother,
you, my undernourished child
who supped from empty hands
ate your own mother's bitterness
learned to ration
for there was
never enough.

i gnawed and tasted loss.
do i pass this
to my children:
thin milk
a thinning bone?

the house on Keefer Street still
stands its cupboards bare
and i am hungry.

Annette LeBox
Maple Ridge, B.C.

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