Budget that Turns Kids’ Stomachs Into Airbags

The end of the month
was a suicide mission
of subversive food
called ‘stuff in the pot.’

Mom was a glut of tabulation
and coupons
that thwarted our guts

even the dogs
collapsed beneath a fistful
of this browbeaten swine

My sisters and I quivered
beneath our bony appendages
continued foreplay with the beige
septic meat slathered in mushroom soup
with our forks

We stuffed some in our pockets
our socks, our pants
praying tomorrow that some god
would finally appear

The next day
the congealed meatloaf was swaddled
in two sweaty soaked
bookends of Wonder Bread
enslaved in Saran Wrap

Brown paper bags
with our names on them
were lined up
every morning before school

We didn’t need a calendar
to remind us that
we were broke

Some rotted stench
permeated the kitchen
for weeks

Until mom had dad drag
the refrigerator away from the wall

At least a dozen meatloaf sandwiches
were petrifying
quite nicely
in their own archeological perfume

Meg Tuite’s writing has appeared in numerous journals including Berkeley Fiction Review, 34thParallel, Epiphany, jmww, One, The Journal, Monkeybicycle and Boston Literary Magazine. She has been nominated several times for The Pushcart Prize. She is the fiction editor of The Santa Fe Literary Review and Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. She is the author of Domestic Apparition (San Francisco Bay Press, 2011) and Disparate Pathos (Monkey Puzzle Press, 2012), and has edited and co-authored the Exquisite Quartet Anthology 2011, stories from her monthly column, Exquisite Quartet, published in Used Furniture Review. Her blog: http://megtuite.wordpress.com.

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2 Responses to Budget that Turns Kids’ Stomachs Into Airbags

  1. Pingback: My poem “Budget that Turns Kid’s Stomachs into Airbags,” was published in Eunoia Review, Sept. 2012 | Meg Tuite's Blog

  2. Pingback: A whole bunch of awesome to read | Samuel Snoek-Brown

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