And is it only the mouth and belly which are
injured by hunger and thirst?
Love is a pound of sticky raisins
packed tight in black and white
government boxes the day we had no
groceries. I told my mom I was hungry.
She gave me the whole bright box.
USDA stamped like a fist on the side.
I ate them all in ten minutes. Ate
too many too fast. It wasn’t long
before those old grapes set like black
clay at the bottom of my belly
making it ache and swell.
I complained, I hate raisins.
I just wanted a sandwich like other kids.
Well that’s all we’ve got, my mom sighed.
And what other kids?
Everyone but me, I told her.
She said, You mean the white kids.
You want to be a white kid?
Well too bad ’cause you’re my kid.
I cried, At least the white kids get a sandwich.
At least the white kids don’t get the shits.
That’s when she slapped me. Left me
holding my mouth and stomach—
devoured by shame.
I still hate raisins,
but not for the crooked commodity lines
we stood in to get them—winding
around and in the tribal gymnasium.
Not for the awkward cardboard boxes
we carried them home in. Not for the shits
or how they distended my belly.
I hate raisins because now I know
my mom was hungry that day, too,
and I ate all the raisins.
Native American Renaissance
Childhood & Coming of Age
Intersectionality & Culture
the repetition of the same letter or sound at the beginning of words appearing in succession
a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences
a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line
a short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme
a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem
a literary work that begins in the middle of the action (from the Latin “into the middle of things)
a comparison between two unrelated things through a shared characteristic
the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing
a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”
When an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another.