Hunger by Candance W. Reaves

You follow me like my shadow,
dark like shame.
When the sun is gone,
the shadow is 
darker than the silhouettes of men 
in motel doorways. 

Your sadness is behind me,
with a smell of beer and sex 
that will never wash away
with the water under the bridge.  

You were taught too early
to love what your body could do,
hungering for touch,
the price not too high
for the finding it. 

Your newborn is hidden
in a back room,
eating air and tears,
learning hunger
in the darkness. 

Hunger almost did us in. 
almost did me in.

Candance W. Reaves is a retired English professor living near the Great Smoky Mountains. Her poems have been published in Homeworks: A Book of Tennessee Writers (UT Press, 1996), New Millennium Writings (New Messenger Books, 2000 and 2008), and Motif: Writing by Ear (Motes Books, 2009). She is co-editor of the poetry anthology All Around Us: Poems from the Valley (Blue Ridge Publishing, 1996). She is currently working on a poetry chapbook. 

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