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The Bread Line

By , Johnston, IA

I sit at the island of granite
In my house of whole grain, honey wheat, and white
Sandwiches and bagels and baguettes
My maid cooks for us, mieliepap
From her house bricked in white mieliepap
I eat it with my silver spoon
Still there is a loaf lying between us
Whole bakeries in the walls between our homes
Her neighbors sit in their shanties
Sheeted in white mieliepap on good days
On bad days, their roofs of yellow mieliepap flake under the african sun
Goats nibble at the doors on bad days

I drive by and wave to them
From the backseat of our new car
It smells of croissants
Sitting back I snack on a fluffy pretzel from the mall
At home, I throw out the wrapper
Greasy, and drenched in butter
It rots with the sour milk
And rests on the bread wrappers in the garbage
They'll pick it up on Tuesday

We drive by again
Their milk sits on the steps under the high sun
They'll take it in to cook tonight
And I see my bread wrappers again
They lie, encrusted with dark blood, in heaps like hills
Rising outside their crumbling shacks.
They walk in the heat
Open sores lacing their arms
As if burned from the ovens they've never touched
I wave again and drive away
Smoke rises from the hills in the distance
At my home of whole grain, honey wheat, and white
Waits my dinner with a side of fresh rolls






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