‘Sustenance’ is a poem about the relationship I had with food, as a teenager. Back then, I ate very little, as it was so important to me to be thin. I only allowed myself to eat breakfast on Saturdays; snacks and desserts were limited to weekends and special occasions. Sometimes, I gave in to cravings and binged on sweet-treats. Even now, I often eat chocolate when I’m stressed . . .
The poem is also about travel and references a school exchange trip to France, which I found very daunting. Interestingly, it was the experience of a new food in an inspiring setting that helped me to relax and enjoy my surroundings. This says a lot about the culture in Brittany – food is such a natural part of the day and is always given time and attention. I recommend a visit!
You may have noticed that this post is a K. S. Moore ‘first’, as the featured poem is not only available to read, but also available to hear. If you do have a listen, please let me know what you think!
At a time when food meant skin with folds,
I hungered for all things sweet:
iced buns, custard, marzipan fruit . . .
I wanted to feel taste,
cut out chips, ate small, round potatoes,
drank skimmed milk, missed breakfast,
except at weekends
Strawberry Crunch was my morning desire.
At 18, I sailed to Brittany, bars of
chocolate eased the waves, gave me
a melting shield against strangers.
The peak was the meal of my life:
‘Moules Frites’ – essence of sea view,
K. S. Moore
Photo by Falcon_33 on Foter.com / CC BY-SA