A Hunger Assuaged

Come to me vagrant, O Death:
starved of bone, starved of lung,
dime-eyed and savage.
Do not come to me gorged and gorgeous,
for it is only when you have known
true hunger, withered to a stalk,
submitted to beggary and stale breads,
you may come to my door, my table.
It will be then, O Death, that pity
becomes you – it will be there
in my clouding eyes you bear witness
to what makes grief a giving – it will be
there in my dry cracked palms held
empty before you, not a partaking of life,
but a share of a hunger assuaged and willing.

Image: Chris Buckwald on Unsplash

This piece is re-posted at https://dversepoets.com. Check out the pub, stay for a nip.

24 thoughts on “A Hunger Assuaged

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  1. This feels like “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

    I realise your thought process may be different here but that was my immediate feeling..somewhat Christ like, how Christ would have gravitated to the lowest of the low.. now that is a cause and religion I could really sign up to.

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    1. Thanks, David. My thought process was different, but reading it with your comment in mind gives this another turn. I like that, and yes, I as well would sign up for it. To be honest, I don’t want to be taken by a glutton, I’d rather death starve for a time before coming for me. If it came to me gaunt, the rules of hospitality dictate that I provide food, drink, warmth and whatever comforts I can provide.

      D

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this piece so much. You had me at the first few lines! It’s definitely enchanting and enriched with evocative, mesmerizing imagery. It sounds like the narrator wants death to visit them in an honest manner–starved and hungry. There should be no falsities or pretenses in appearance. Death should take the narrator as they feel–that’s what I think is the essence of this poem. It intrigues me, and that’s a fascinating outlook on it.

    Beautifully written with an enjoyable rhythm.

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  3. I love the wordplay and imagery in this especially, “Do not come to me gorged and gorgeous,
    for it is only when you have known
    true hunger, withered to a stalk,
    submitted to beggary and stale breads,
    you may come to my door, my table.” Such a powerful voice.

    Like

  4. Great to see you here at dVerse, D. I love the concept here, meeting Death and meeting it eye to eye. When I think of so many images of the grim reaper, it always seems very tall and imposing.

    Like

  5. Your poem has echoes of Dylan Thomas, Devon, especially in the lines:
    ‘starved of bone, starved of lung,
    dime-eyed and savage’
    and
    ‘there in my dry cracked palms held
    empty before you, not a partaking of life,
    but a share of a hunger assuaged and willing.’
    A powerful poem, beautifully written.

    Like

    1. I am glad you picked up on the anger part of it. Age tends to bring thoughts of one’s own mortality at times. I was not quite ready for such thoughts at the time of writing this. Thanks for the read and comment. I appreciate your kind thoughts.

      D

      Liked by 1 person

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