For Jadah (Children Aren’t Pies)

Photo by Tracey Grumbach

Photo by Tracel Grumbach

I watched three buzzards circle

as a mother baked pie,

no attention paid

as ingredients mixed,

not enough sugar while she text,

too many eggs as she kissed last nights nameless lover good riddance,

oven temp too low,

timer turned too short,

rack set high,

while she toked on a blunt

and sucked Jim Beam.


I watched three buzzards circle

as friends laughed at the pie,

as the mother cursed it,

named it worthless,

dumped in the kitchen trash,

and sealed the garbage bag with a white wiry tie.


I watched three buzzards circle

as the mother’s next nameless lover dropped the bag in the dumpster outside,

as garbage men tossed it into their stinking truck,

as they unloaded the reeking bag at the landfill,

as gnats and rodents ate to the buzz of flies,

as bulldozers pushed soil over what remained of the pie.


I watched three buzzards circle

as grass grew green on the dirt covered hill of waste,

as rain fell on it,

wind blew over it,

snow blanketed it,

and the occasional yellow flowered weed would grow on top of

the dirt covered hill of waste.


I watched three buzzards circle

and then

fly away.


29 thoughts on “For Jadah (Children Aren’t Pies)

  1. nice henry…all the things that happen in different places on the earth, that seem meaningless and go their way…just as the earth continues to turn and the birds continue to fly….and somewhere in between is our own life.. and the buzzards circle..

  2. hedgewitch says:

    I have to agree with your basic premise here, henry, skillfully laid down, and all the bones scraped clean–we pretty much suck, but the planet has amazing abilities to ignore it.

  3. Gritty exploration of now – culturally, philosophically and naturally. Like the sparse pictures of reality, uncluttered, exposed.

  4. She shouldn’t have chucked, now, should she:-)
    Relentless journey of the plackie bag, which we followed along with amazement.

    BTW, what browser are you using? Wonder if anybody else can actually play the sound file. I’m on Firefox.

  5. nice…this is enchanting man…the birds circling through out the whole cycle of the pie’s creation death and re-creation in just a bit of beauty in that flower…great description of the mom as well…

  6. Somehow it shows how difficult it is to live life. Her tasks so thoughtless, boring, and she tosses away the pie as she tosses away her lovers. Sad and yet the cycle repeats, from her kitchen to the landfill, to be used up by the earth and re-grown as something else, and yes, the buzzards circle, always waiting for us all to die.
    Amazing insightful write.

  7. This one punched me in the gut and reminded me of a heartrending film ‘Nobody Knows’ or ‘Dare mo shiranai’. If you haven’t seen it it’s based on a true story. Emotionally potent work!

    • Thank you, Anna, I am familiar with the film and I have assisted efforts to bring world-wide child abandonement to the thoughts of people. I was unfortunately punched in the gut by a similiar situation I write about here, I’ve written about it before. A very sad feeling. Makes a person wish they could be a lot of places at the same time and know the signs of all misfortune. Thank you once again for your recognition.

  8. I like the refraining lines of:
    I watched three buzzards circle – it seems that death is waiting on the wings.

    The poetry format gave me the chills as you tersely described the images of the mother’s careless and thoughtless actions. Dark theme but powerfully done ~

    Wishing you happy day ~

    • Thank you, Heaven. I know it wasn’t cheery, but there will be many children not all dressed up for Easter church and egg hunts tomorrow. Maybe a few prayers will be made for them.

  9. Oh, I see that we had a different perspective on the same picture… but still kept the “circle” imagery. I like that you went on the “cycle” side of it. Sad, but I can see hope (maybe the birds will fly in circles over something else, another action that may be fortunate this time?). Really well divided as well.

  10. Where I see falcons you see buzzards 🙂 Life goes on within us and without us – you capture this sense so well. I enjoyed the vivid images – I stepped inside the poem and watched the action along with the buzzards

  11. loved they way the presence of those birds is the only constant, and the sad and restless journey of a pie to a landfill casts light into the complex and difficult world of children in a bad situation

  12. The circling buzzards, observing,waiting and looking for the opportunity to.. zap! and zero in for the kill. Isn’t that the way of the world, Henry! The strong pounced on the weak, the wily looking for half a chance,the pretty with such arrogance. Great verse you’ve got here, you captured it very well!


  13. People infected with their own losses — like the sad woman of this tale, and the unspoken child who had to endure it — life the sort of death-in-life where the buzzards are always circling. Fine telling of it – hopefully getting it down on paper puts another mile between the heart and its landfill. – Brendan

  14. A strong write, which definitely shows the sad conditions that some children live in, brought into the world by mothers who care about Jim Beam and the next nameless man. It is interesting to me that we never saw the children in this poem. But it was said the woman was a mother. Probably she never ‘saw’ them either and she cursed them as she cursed her pie!

  15. This is great and very original & effective…lets hope the Earth can recover from our destructive ways…I fear otherwise…great poem to the picture ..

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