[the poetry billboard] - 'Enough' by Megan Ng

Megan Ng

You never had enough
When you were young
Seven children at the table
With less plates than mouths.
Pickiness is a modern day

Malaise. You recount days
When you were sent to live
Elsewhere, sat on a relative’s
One room floor, crouching
By Singapore River.

How you watched with half-
Ashamed and gobbly eyes
The adults’ greasy lips,
Sucking on roasted duck crisp
Heap of chilli sour red -

Sting of vinegar in the soft
Of your tongue, like hunger -
They always gave you
Leftovers: rice and chilli,
Not meat, you remember.

Cooking for your children
Today, anything less than more
Is like sitting on the floor;
You feed us as if to swallow
All possibility of empty.

Now there’s plenty, you come
To the table last, hardly eat
Your meals, untouched,
As if satisfied to say -
The hunger was enough.