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Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine, To my neighbor

04.07.11 Posted in Contributor Series 8, words to linger on by

Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine
To my neighbor

By Sarah Endo

I didn’t recognize you
at the Halloween party
even though you wore no
costume. I hadn’t seen
you in months, and the park
at the foot of our hill was
buzzing with bees tigers
princesses and ninjas
grandparents and newborns. You
came clattering over on walking
sticks, your eyes alive with kindness
and a smile that would melt Antarctica.
You marveled at how my girls had grown.
Only when I saw your daughter’s
long black braids and slender serious face
did I realize–oh!
who you were. And how
your body had changed.

Now I am stirring
pinto beans, beef, corn, onion spiced
with cumin and simmering gently.
I spoon on sun-shiny yellow
cornbread crust, gluten-free,
bake and carry to your
back door. I wonder why
you can’t eat wheat. If it’s
because of the tumor. But
I don’t ask. I cook … butternut
squash curry, potato leek soup
crustless quiche which I never knew
existed. Tonight’s meal is an
old favorite, tamale pie, or as
my little one says, Molly pie.
But my six-year-old
asks, What is cancer?
She is stewing, too.

Sarah Endo’s most recent poem to appear at vox poetica was Bearing Witness, February 2011.

5 Responses to “Contributor Series 8: Feast and Famine, To my neighbor”

  1. bobbie troy says:

    Very poignant.

  2. You had me from the beginning. I knew it would be sad, but I couldn’t look away. Thank you.

  3. clarissa mcfairy says:

    o but this is beautiful and so sad!

  4. Gracie says:

    Heart wrenching and hauntingly beautiful!

  5. Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

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