Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

by Ann Fox Chandonnet

You’ve topped three hundred pounds,
and wear an oxygen mask to sleep.
But you don’t care.
It goes back to those Saturday nights
and Sunday mornings.

There’s no food in the house,
and your little sister is hungry.
You push a chair to the cabinets,
and climb up to reach the crackers.
They are the only edibles in the house.

Arranged in quartets,
the crackers smell almost like cake.
You are afraid to eat them all,
so you carefully break off three squares
from each quartet,
putting the fourth back in the box.
You lick the salt before you bite,
cautioning Becky about crumbs.

You wait for the sound of the garage door.
You are not to go outside,
talk to the neighbors,
use the phone or touch the thermostat.
You sit on the couch with Becky,
sharing a blanket that smells of dog and diesel.

When you turn to check the picture window
behind you, it is the same picture as Saturday afternoon.
Solemn drivers skid wildly past, out of control on ice,
throwing slush onto the white lawn.
You wait for the sound of the garage door.
You sit on the threadbare couch,
Becky whimpering and wiping her nose on the blanket,
the room growing colder and colder.
You dream of a refrigerator
stuffed with pizza and cheese,
roasts and corn salad,
of a carton of licorice and potato chips
open on the kitchen table.

The sun slinks below the horizon at 3,
and the room grows dark.
Slush curdles.
You wait for the garage door.
Time for a glass of hot water.

-refers from the word “crackers” in Elise Glassman’s story Curry Farts and Snackeroos

  1. I love this. Once I let it digest, perhaps I will be able to explain why. Until then, I will allow myself to savor….

  2. Don’t you love it when you enjoy something but you have no real idea why!

  3. Thank you, Ann, for this poignant, compassionate piece. It’s heartrending. And thank you, Jessie, for the beautiful work you continue to publish here. I’m never disappointed.

  4. Told so well . . .it grabbed my heart. Thank you Ann.

  5. Ellen Kline McLeod

    Riveting scene – the smells, the longing. So essential – eating and pondering what to feed ourselves to salve the waiting, the hunger of such a sabbath of need.

  6. So lovely. Jessie, you are doing such a good job selecting for Referential.

  7. Appreciate all the wonderful comments! We are receiving such terrific work for consideration 🙂

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