Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 14 . . .

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger

     by Tania Runyan

On the day that 27,000 children died,
my dishwasher flooded its basin. I cradled a bowl,

running my finger around a yellow shroud of curry.
I mourned the scrubbing I would have to endure,

the salesmen with their litany of buttons,
the snake’s nest of disconnected tubes.

Mothers embalmed their children in wet sand.
Fathers folded skeletal bodies in sheets.

The mosquito nets and vaccinations were still
en route, stalled in cargo holds, legislation, hearts.

I did not remember. I opened the dishwasher again
and felt my blood quicken at the sour soup

of food and water, the marinara-flecked plates,
and—Jesus help me—oatmeal stuck to the whisk like bone.

Tania Runyan’s poems have appeared in several publications, such as Poetry, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, The Christian Century, Christianity and Literature, Willow Springs, Southern Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, and A Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Her chapbook, Delicious Air, was awarded the 2007 Book of the Year Citation by the Conference on Christianity and Literature. Her first full-length collection of poetry will be published by WordFarm in 2010. She lives in northern Illinois with her husband, two daughters and son.

© 2009 Tania Runyan