Recorded for Poem-a-Day, September 29, 2017.
About this Poem 
“During long walks I kept finding fawn bones on my favorite trail. I had also been considering how sometimes when we mean to help, we make things worse, even when we are trying our best. I wanted this poem to live in that gray area.”
—Kelli Russell Agodon
 

Hunger

If we never have enough love, we have more than most.
We have lost dogs in our neighborhood and wild coyotes, 
and sometimes we can’t tell them apart. Sometimes
we don’t want to. Once I brought home a coyote and told
my lover we had a new pet. Until it ate our chickens.
Until it ate our chickens, our ducks, and our cat. Sometimes
we make mistakes and call them coincidences. We hold open
the door then wonder how the stranger ended up in our home.
There is a woman on our block who thinks she is feeding bunnies, 
but they are large rats without tails. Remember the farmer’s wife?
Remember the carving knife? We are all trying to change 
what we fear into something beautiful. But even rats need to eat.
Even rats and coyotes and the bones on the trail could be the bones
on our plates. I ordered Cornish hen. I ordered duck. Sometimes 
love hurts. Sometimes the lost dog doesn’t want to be found.
 

Copyright © 2017 by Kelli Russell Agodon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Copyright © 2017 by Kelli Russell Agodon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on September 29, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.

Kelli Russell Agodon

Kelli Russell Agodon is the author of Hourglass Museum (White Pine Press, 2014). She lives in the Seattle area and is the cofounder of Two Sylvias Press.