Needing To Eat

Old woman, gently rounded with no waist,
Rugged up for warmth, arms out for balance,
Shuffles down shiny white supermarket aisle,
Eyes cast down, head tilted forward,
Hesitant, hungry, needing to eat.

She bends to the bottom shelf for the cheap sardines,
Cautious, afraid of careless children
Bumping into her.  She knows just one knock
Could send her sprawling
And bones could break.

She thinks of Antarctic penguins
How they waddle fast  to the ice edge
On short legs and stare down at the sea,
Hesitant, hungry, needing to eat,
How they wait for young, stupid penguins
That they can push into the water first,
A sacrifice, to satisfy a lurking, slippery seal.

penguin

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