The Clerk's Lunch

The clerk will run blocks
to return a borrowed nickel
but she is always the last one
helped at the counter
where she can only afford
a cup of soup (split pea)
and a hard roll with a little butter,
which she tears apart,
one hill from the other,
not caring where the poppy seeds
fall, her hunger is so great.

:: Anya Achtenberg, in If I Had a Hammer: Women's Work in Poetry, Fiction, and Photographs

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