In this poem, Andrea Kitt tells the story of one woman’s relationship with food.

woman cooking

Food . . . bad . . . food . . . need
Wanting, craving, screaming, crying
Clutching me too close for comfort
Trying, always bloody trying

Drops of worry, sweet and sour
Sloppy piles of green and white
Grated with the blood of mother
Get it down and get it right

Needing roots and needing water
Needing streams that flow and live
Needing certainty and laughter
Needing what you cannot give

Want it, need it, try to hide it
Swallow hard and lock my throat
I don’t trust the hand that feeds me
Dreadful tear-drops make me choke

Food . . . mad . . . food . . . greed
Hunger, hanker more and more
Suck and gorge on sickly syrup
Filthy, guilty to the core

Gobble biscuits, guzzle bread
Stuff it down to plug the dread
Chocolate, toffee, thick fudge icing
Chewing, gnawing, tearing, biting

Eating, hating, hating eating
Want a little, want a lot
Eating, stopping, cheating, sneaking
Grabbing, gulping, cannot stop

Bloated, weary, weak and gloomy
Food in blocks of stagnant pain
Clutch them in my icy belly
Clogged and sour with ancient shame

Slowly seeping angry poison
Hardened hatred crack and heave
Breaking through the wall of silence
Raging, weeping, trying to breathe

Food . . . sad . . . food . . . grieve
Taste of teardrops, tender bud
Moonlight slipping through the mantle
Cool and gentle . . . taste of love

Warm and fragrant soup and porridge
Roots and juices ripe and sweet
Creature comfort, ample bounty
Let . . . life . . . soak . . . deep

Food . . . glad . . . food . . . eat

Illustration by the author.

Andrea Mary Kitt

Andrea Mary Kitt has written two poetry books and an autobiography entitled, My Mother my Mirror. She also practices as a psychotherapist.

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