Milk Noodle

by Greta Bolger
The Waters
First Place, December 2008
Judged by Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald


Warmed whole milk with a pat
of butter the broth, skinny
noodles the substance.

Our favorite lunch, made by
a nearly blind grandfather
for shy Heidi and bold Greta.

He sat alongside us with old
coffee, a heel of bread and a
slice of salami, chewing softly.

I can still hear him humming
hymns as he washed up,
hear him calling us in from play.

Herein! Zeit, um zu essen!
Sie Kinder haben Hunger!

And it’s true, we did hunger

for a father more sober than
his only son, for words we
could easily understand, for

foods we could easily digest,
milk noodle, oatmeal; for his
calloused hand smoothing our

silky blonde heads, warm
as the strange soup we slurped,
foreign, yet familiar as sun.


We liked the imagery of this poem, its simplicity and intimacy. The poet captured a vivid memory and successfully shared it with us, as if we were there. --Hélène Cardona and John Fitzgerald

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