Tuesday, April 17, 2007

NaPoWriMo #15

Don't think that the following in any way comes from my personal experience:

The Long Winter

First, we ate the grain we had stored for seed.
We ate the livestock. When the hens stopped laying,
we ate the hens. Then, we dug beneath the snow
for the stubble of last autumn's harvest. We ate
the small birds that fell frozen from the branches.
Once, we found a fish frozen solid into the ice of the creek.
When the snow became too deep, we ate the bark
from the logs that we cut for the fire. We melted the snow
and dissolved the glue from the spines of books.
We drank the liquid. When the snow started to melt,
and the first wagons came through, they brought us flour
and meat. We stared at it, dull-eyed. We did not want
to eat. Our hunger was the only thing
we knew could fill us up.

For the prompt "hunger" at Poetry Thursday

3 comments:

January said...

I'm glad to hear that you were not the one waiting on wagons for meat and flour.

Great poem! I really like this. The image of melting glue from books as nourishment is startling.

Jan said...

Lovely poem.
Particularly liked the last line...hunger filling one up.
Thankyou for this, Catherine.

Catherine said...

I'm pretty sure that glue was made from organic sources in the 19th century - starch, or animal- based gelatine type products. In our household, the insects seem to like to eat it, so I figured it would nourish people :)
Fortunately, there is nowhere in New Zealand that gets snowed in that heavily, even in the worst winters. A week or two for some inland farmers last winter is about as bad as it gets here.