Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Marley's Breakfast--By Elizabeth Howard--United States

Marley's Breakfast

Marley awakens while it's still dark,
her tummy grumbling with hunger.
Her mother who works the night shift
at the diner will not be home until
after Marley and Billy have gone
to school. She finds a little cornmeal
in the bin, mixes it with water, cooks it,
and gives it to Billy who gobbles it up.
She licks the spoon and puts it in the sink.
They do not need to dress. They are
wearing the only clothes they have.
Marley takes Billy's hand, and they walk
to school. Her first class is English,
but she does not hear the teacher.
She only hears the grumbling in her tummy

Elizabeth Howard lives in Crossville, Tennessee. She writes poetry and fiction. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Big Muddy, Appalachian Heritage, Cold Mountain Review, Poem, Still, Mobius, Now & Then, Slant, and other journals.


  1. Oh, this poem makes me so sad and you depict this great problem of hunger so well in your poem. I know as citizens of this great country that we do a lot to help, but it seems to never be enough as the hunger and the homeless conditions grow and grow........... As individuals, each one of us can help by donate unused food and clothing to shelters and churches. Remember! Every little bit helps! Sheri /

  2. I am a beta reader for a new novel PASSERBY that is about three young girls in this situation. I am going to call the author's attention to your poem when I see him today. I think it would make an excellent prologue for his book. Passerby Part I and Passerby Part II are on Amazon, looking for review comments. Watch for a future comment.

  3. Hi Elizabeth. What a heart-felt and touching poem. I loved every line and verse of it. It's a sad thing when someone has to go without any food. Blessings to you for sharing this with us. Continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  4. Elizabeth,
    I feel for these poor children. Even though it is probably fictional, it is sad when people have to hungry, especially children.
    Your friend,
    David Fox