Hunger, Poetry by Sandra Jeffs

Genre: Philosophy, Life

by Sandra Jeffs

I grew up hungry, so damn hungry.

It wasn’t just hunger for food, although that was scarce.

It was hunger for knowing and feeling, and seeing and doing.

I was greedy to drink in everything,

to know how to fly, how to skim on water.

I saw everyone as wiser than me

and I sat at their feet and I listened and I learned.

I devoured books and poems and movies and music.

Songs filled me with dance and joy and love and freedom.

College challenged me and pushed me and exhausted me.

Travel opened my heart and wrote novels in my mind.

I discussed theories and possibilities and metaphysics.

I vehemently argued my points and many times I learned I was wrong,

But I grew. Yes, I grew every day, with every mistake and every success.

And I did it without much help nor any handouts

I worked. I worked hard for a paycheck,

worked hard for knowledge, for experience,

for skills and talents and I overcame so damn much.

So damn much!


Then, as I aged into my sixties,

I found I had passed so many people by,

I had never stopped for one single second

to think that I might grow past all the people I loved,

might learn myself out of friendships, and lovers;

might get myself to a place where other people don’t see what I see

and don’t want to see it, don’t want to know who they are,

nor why they are on this planet, don’t want to wake up.

They just want to get through life

and I no longer can even pretend to settle for so little.


The truth is– from the beginning. I never could settle for less

than knowing all that I could  just for the sake of knowing.

It’s just that I always thought everyone else wanted that, too.

I thought they were on this journey with me

and it feels lonely now that they stayed safe from the hunger,

It feels like a death has occurred to have gained so much

and to have so few people to share it with.

I see their best selves and wish they did too,

but they resent me those insights.

I am surprised at how wise I’ve seemed to become

because I never sought to be wiser than others,

I never thought my hunger would take me this far.

I feel shy to find I am wiser than those I once thought my mentors

or at least my peers.  I’d like to rail at the apathy and the fear,

that keeps people from being hungry.

Hunger is good.

Once we satisfy it, we are nourished and grow,

and then the hunger reappears and we continue seeking,

growing, learning, evolving.


Isn’t that our purpose in life?

    * * * * *

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This entry was posted in 2016 poetry, Life, Philosophical, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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