The Dining Room


Dark as shiny chocolate

I see my reflection in the surface

Punished by my food

Soggy noodles staring at me

Unkempt broccoli taunting my nerves

I sense my mother

At the end of her rope

Wondering why her child won’t eat

Trying to discover a new dish, a new hope

Something to make the pain go away

I don’t remember Dad as much

Except I’m sure he was the one who

Sent Me to My Room

Then the angry voices started

It must’ve been her fault I didn’t eat

It positively was…

I listened to the angry voices and took out my dolls

Barbie married Ken in Malibu, Honolulu, and Tahiti

They went on vacations to Canada and Nairobi and Timbuktu

(I didn’t know where all those places were except Mom said she’d send me if I was ornery)

Eventually I would go back to my food

(Mom was not allowed to reheat it)

I sat on a cold chair and choked down cold broccoli

And noodles that Mom added butter (margarine actually)

And parmesan to so I would eat SOME protein.

(I only learned about the parmesan later–I may have revolted)

She used to supplement my food with SEGO diet drinks (Vanilla was my favorite)

That was in the daytime, in-between meals

Her eyes used to water as she prepared the food and said

“Please eat, Molly. Please.”