The Crockpot
by David Bowles

Mother, I know you meant well,
Packing the little crockpot tight
With chunks of potato, whole carrots,
A slab of meat, a random bouillon cube.
You couldn't be home to cook a meal
And food stamps only stretch so far.

But when my brothers and I would tumble
From that hot, oppressive bus
To find your single-mom stew awaiting us,
We learned first-hand the simple bliss
Of bologna, government cheese and Wonderbread—
Sharing a bowl of chips and salsa
On the steps of that housing complex
That roiled with the poorly seasoned smells
Of unattended youth.

Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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