Hunger by Tawnysha Greene

Two times a year, we go to the government office, to get what Momma calls food money, bills with colored stamps that she keeps behind the plastic flap in her checkbook. Momma takes a number from a red machine and we wait on hard blue chairs, watch the television in the corner of the room. It plays The Neverending Story, a movie we’re not allowed to see, but we watch anyway, the flying luck dragon, the horse that drowns in a swamp.

When they don’t give us food money anymore, we go to the school down the street for the free milk, cornbread they offer in the summer. We sit on metal benches in the cafeteria, eat, watch the other kids watch us, their clothes dirty, their feet bare. At church, we help serve dinner to the congregation after the service and Momma brings her big purse, sneaks bread rolls, apples inside. Sometimes, when storms come through, service is cancelled, the dinner, too, and Momma gives us big cups of water before bed, tells us to drink, to make our stomachs full.


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Filed under Tawnysha Greene

7 responses to “Hunger by Tawnysha Greene

  1. A hard look at a hard way of living. I like the little details such as the large purse for rolls and apples. Nice.

  2. Keith

    It is so sad but true, which makes it even more sad. I love how you used Momma instead of mom or mother; it makes it more personal.

  3. Kim Hutchinson

    This just breaks my heart. If only it weren’t so true. Beautifully written.

  4. that’s a little bomb of a piece. your pieces, when you use that voice, sound especially authentic, almost apalachian. keep using it. it’s very distinctive and uniquely your own.

  5. Deborah A. Upton

    Right to the point. So sad.

  6. This slice of life rings so true with a powerful, regional voice, and great details, setting and family dynamics. Ponderous, without ever intending it to be, in its tell-it-like-it-is straightforward delivery.

  7. Pingback: Week #40 – The money’s gone | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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