No Yams For me Please

i knew her when the years had rubbed the edges
              off her hunger
              off her fear

she was able to leave
a bit on a plate at dinner

though she still felt
the need
to push it in her mouth

sidelong looks
at a piece of pork
left near the edge
             a taunt
                or a game

but there were months,
years ago
when she eagerly
pushed aside a corpse
or       two
to get to the yams underneath

she knew they were there
death's stench
only an

copyright Audrey Howitt 2017

Process Note: I should probably change the title of this piece to Refugee's Tales or something along this line--this is a true person and this was her history during the Second World War--I wrote this piece originally as Trump's first Muslim ban came out--

Posted today for Poet's United and for Dverse


  1. Whew! For some reason this upset me....made me squirm...visceral reaction and ultimately, that's a compliment to you.

    1. This is a hard one Bill--made me uneasy when I wrote it too

  2. A familiar dinner plate - A lesson in life.

  3. Audrey I got the shivers on this one. Very Poe-like so it was creative. Occasionally I have been hit by muses with dark thoughts too.

  4. I can feel her appetite, honed by the years of near starvation. This is very powerful writing.

  5. The tragedy of starvation is so well described... and how those memories will haunt you afterwards.

  6. This is a powerful poem, Audrey! Really.

  7. Too often we don't actually know what it's like to truly feel hunger day in and day out. We must be reminded or lose touch with our own humanity. Yes, this is an uncomfortable read, but then, it must be or it's truth and full reality would be lost, and we would be less for our unknowing. Thank you, for your courage to write it,


  8. Well written with a message we all need to hear!

  9. Wow so eerie and scary sort of. Such a battle with food!

  10. Dark truth is always appalling to give the soul a shiver. a powerful write Audrey...

  11. It was pretty clear it must have been a situation of war or famine, or both. And it certainly rings true; had to have been based on a real happening. You've told it well, very effectively.

  12. Powerful and intense - an impactful, compelling piece of writing. I appreciated the note, for context, but for many, really ... that is the reality of any war. Brilliant writing, Audrey!

  13. Such tales remind us all of our shared humanity.

  14. Starvation is hauntingly real for them in such a situation. They don't talk of having a job but of survival! Wonderful write Audrey!


  15. Thank you,


  16. This is an incredibly compelling piece of writing.

  17. This hits my guts..powerful writing Audrey ~

  18. I knew refugees from the WWII that had been so starved, they ate the soap in the rescue kits given to them by American soldiers. a visceral piece this is.

  19. A timely poem. It's still going on and we should be ashamed. Powerful words;

  20. Hunger, when the bottom has been punched out by the powerful. What to do?

  21. Your blog was absolutely fantastic! Great deal of great information & this can be useful some or maybe the other way.
    Keep updating your blog,anticipating to get more detailed contents.



Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments and thoughts--thank you for stopping by! I don't always reply here, but always try to reciprocate--so hang in there, I will be over to your blog in a jiffy!

Popular Posts