I take the toddler grocery shopping,
and I am hungry, hungry,
filling the cart with crackers and chicken
and ice cream and coffee and Christian tracts
and sinners’ prayers and women’s retreats
and sparingly issued wedding bands—
all piled up around the toddler,
packed into the minivan, lining every shelf
in my kitchen, reminding me there is no way to be satisfied
and also healthy, to sleep through the night
without drugs or denial
bubbling in my gastric acid.
The toddler asks, Is it bath night?, wondering
if this uncleanness is temporary and all we need
is a little water, a little bread.
I tell her, When I was young,
I used to dream I had wings.
I cut up a pear for supper. I try to say Jesus
and mean it.
Hannah Marshall lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she divides her time between writing and mothering. Her poetry has appeared in a number of publications, including the Anglican Theological Review, The Madison Review, and Rock & Sling, and is forthcoming in Hummingbird, Stoneboat, and Minerva Rising.