Crumbs

I will no longer
eat your crumbs,
no longer nibble in vain
trying to fill my hollow belly
with the sad scraps you toss
from your barren table.

You made me a beggar
then scorned my hunger.
You starved me in your house
then accused me of malnourishment
and denied me alms.

Your lying morsels
tempt me into hoping
a meal is coming
while your kitchen is bare.
They trick me into believing
crumbs are the only food
despite the orchards outside.
They train me into accepting
only crumbs
as my lot.

But crumbs are mean appetizers
masquerading as a feast
that starve more cruelly
than a fast.
Crumbs are rotting remnants
of someone else’s banquet.

Wandering ravenous
in the village dark,
the haze finally revealed
other houses
with open doors.
I met skilled cooks
with stocked pantries
flaming hearths
and generous hands.

Now that I’m fed
I’m safe enough
to stop begging for trash,
free enough
to reject your miserly dregs.

Now that my cells know nourishment
I’ve no need
to haunt your impoverished table
ever
again.

© S. Rinderle, November 2022

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