Powdered Milk

Powdered milk made sly appearances at my childhood breakfasts,
bluish and thin, with a nasty taste that took a moment to bloom in the mouth.
Mom mixed it in empty milk jugs, whether to save money or rotate the food storage, I do not know. When we complained, she said there was no difference.

Just drink it. Be grateful.

She recalled the man who, as a boy, so hungry after the war, had eaten powdered egg straight from the can, thinking it was powdered ice cream.

He threw it up directly.

She laughed telling this story, but I did not find it funny. Only tragic that he hungered so long, and that they could still freeze-dry the life out of food and say it’s as good as the real thing.

Emily Updegraff lives near Chicago. She studied biology for the first decade of her adulthood. In her second and third she is working, mothering, and reading widely. She is just beginning to find ways to share her poems and this is her first online poetry publication.

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