by Joan Colby

Scrambling for donations,
They must institute new rules:
How often and how much.

A woman hauls a weary child
While an infant bawls
In its stroller.

An old man picks through
Cans of beans. The rice is
All but gone.

The volunteer says the cub scouts
Will hold a fundraiser soon
And the local bank is asking

Customers to bring in boxes
Of staples. The room is dim,
Shelves half empty.

People mull about, seeking to fill
Their sacks. A small boy says
I’m hungry.

Down the street, a pet store
Hangs a sign out
Feed the Birds.

Seven books published including The Lonely Hearts Killers, The Atrocity Book, etc. Over 980 poems in publications including Poetry, Atlanta Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The New York Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Epoch, etc. Two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards (one in 2008) and an IAC Literary Fellowship. Honorable mention in the 2008 James Hearst Poetry Contest—North American Review and the 2009 Editor’s Choice Contest–Margie, and finalist in the 2007 GSU (now New South) Poetry Contest, 2009 Nimrod International Pablo Neruda Prize, 2010 James Hearst Poetry Contest and Ernest J. Poetry Prize Joan Colby lives on a small horse farm in Northern Illinois with her husband and assorted animals.