Molly's slam poem

Since my last post, people have been asking me to see Molly's poem so I thought I would share it here.

Molly decided to write her poem after volunteering as a packer for the Feeding South Dakota (FSD) BackPack program with a group from Teen Up.  The staff explained to us the need for this program to help young people at risk for hunger during weekends and holidays when school is not in session.  This is so important, especially when you consider that 1 in 5 children in South Dakota is at risk of going hungry.

One of the staff members at FSD shared with us a story about a child he met once, who told him that only thing he wanted for Christmas, was to not go on winter break.  While most of the kids at his school were excited to see family, eat cookies, and receive presents, this child just wanted to know where his next meal would come from.  This story became an inspiration for Molly.

Last week Numad had a chance to visit with Matt Gassen, Chief Executive Officer of Feeding South Dakota. One of the areas of Feeding South Dakota's work that I think is extremely impactful, are the creative ways they are working to bring meals more directly to young people who need them. They are putting food in places where kids already go in their communities, like libraries and clinics, and places that are close to housing areas where kids live, like fire departments.  This makes so much sense.  In most situations, young people will now be able to get to a place that will have food for them.

Smoke and Mirrors by Molly Larson

Life is an optical illusion

We live in a world of stories

And of perspectives

And of different angles

It goes beyond traditional tricks of the mind

Life throws in its own societal smoke and mirrors

You think that you know them

You think that you had them all figured out

You thought.

You though that boy in your class just had a big appetite

You didn’t know that he spends Christmas break

Waiting to go back to school

So that he doesn’t have to be hungry anymore

And you didn’t know that

All he wanted for Christmas was a warm meal

Or maybe a job for his parents

Or maybe a home

Home for the Holidays

When the home is brutally replaced

With Hungry for the Holidays

Cold for the Holidays

And Waiting for the Holidays to just be over

Lacks a certain amount of Christmas spirit

And doesn’t have quite the same ring to it

And I bet you didn’t know that that girl

Who everyone makes fun of for smelling bad

Hasn’t had a shower in weeks

Or a bed

Or a mom

I bet you didn’t know

That she’s so good at cross country

Because she’s spent her entire life running away

And that the finish line

Is nowhere in sight

She’ll keep running

Long after the race is over

Because she isn’t fueled by adrenaline

But by fear

The fear that homeless youth live with every day

Fear for their safety

Fear for their lives

And fear

Because they’ve been lost for so long

And they’ve lost so much

Not their phone

Not their keys

Their homes.

Their families.

And their hope.

But I can’t help wonder

If you’re ever really lost

If you never had a home to lose in the first place