Food Bank poem: Luxuries by Holly Magill

This competition raises money for Nourish Food Bank. The winning poem, by public vote, has £50 sent to Nourish in the poet’s name. Voting is by “likes” and ends 12th July 2018.



Sun bakes down unBritishly. Some woman on the radio is
outraged they’re giving the stuff out – says it’s a cheek

as it is, people getting free food. Mothers – the woman
says nothing about dads – should keep children
inside to avoid sunburn, not expect
hard-working tax-payers to fund non-essential items.

Hard enough to ask for, hard enough to accept
the paper slip ticked for one adult, two children (4-6);
Kyla hopes why her little ones need to eat is

good enough.

They’d offered it her, with her last voucher; true she can’t
afford to buy any, even the Aldi stuff. She’s trying,
– whatever that woman on the radio would say.

Alfie and Lucy press unburnt noses to the window
flesh white as moonflowers hot-housed in the stuffy flat.

Friends play out, two floors down,
tag and catch and funny running-about games.

She thinks of the outraged woman, how she might deal
with I hate you Mummy! twenty times a day, if her children
splash the paddling pool in their local park, if she’s ever had to

think of council-maintained grass and questionable sandpits
as Aspirational.


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