Hunger All Inside


 Hunger All Inside is full of poems that I love, poems that chart my efforts to give shape to the twin crucibles of living and loving, the refiner’s fire of motherhood.  “Double Twist,” the exquisitely apt artwork gracing its cover, is by the marvelous artist Liz Hawkes deNiord.

I hope you’ll read it, and love it too.

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What lovely people are saying:

Hunger All Inside is a moving book in every sense of the word, sweeping the reader, as life sweeps us, through its great and complex changes. These poems forge ahead — hungry, yes, and taking it all in: the ‘plenitudes’ offered us in every day — each moment a hinge to the next, each season shifting away even as it begins — life beside death, always; what is left behind crucial to what lies ahead. Here are poems that savor even the losses, poems that, like the boy yet to learn fear, leap into that fear, but without ignorance — on the contrary, with a wizened kind of bliss. In these poems, Gauthier celebrates that though each moment is temporary, its joy continues and is the force that all at once feeds us and drives us onward, seeking more.”

— Rhett Iseman Trull, editor of Cave Wall & author of The Real Warnings, winner of the 2008 Anhinga Prize for Poetry


“Marie Gauthier’s language is as sharp and precise as a blade which cuts both to expose our deepest hurts as human beings and to excise them, to heal them. These poems deftly perform the rare feat of showing the depths and heights of human experience and proving, again and again, that this world is a world of beauties worth living for.”

Emma Bolden, author of The Mariner’s Wife and The Sad Epistles


Hunger All Inside refers not only to the thirst of a child but also Gauthier’s thirst for the natural world. New England’s land, its seasons, its sugar shacks, all intermingle with the modern voice of the mother and lover in this collection of poems. As if with a dowser’s rod, Gauthier’s speaker wanders the terrain seeking out the truths that lurk amidst her sources and reveals them — for good or ill.”

— Doug Korb, author of The Cut Worm, winner of Bright Hill Press’s 2006 chapbook award

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The Second Miracle

Puckered, immersed, our fearless son
tosses rocks into the lake, steps deeper, lured by the fish
flashing just beyond the shallows, steps deeper
for the vital, more perfect stone,
and I leap for him, see:

my baby’s hands thrash water
before he drops like a golden coin beneath the surface.

Back to the bath with a fresh towel
after only a second away, and he’s standing
in the tub about to swing
his arms down for a mighty wave,
and I leap for him, see:

his small head dashed against the porcelain,
his body a broken toy floating in pink-tinged froth.

The miracle of his birth — stubborn
child so burrowed as to be cut from my heart-
shaped womb — was but a first
sprouting of the panic that bloomed
and coiled around my spine, pulsing its muscle
like a secret, second heart.

Every day I see him, our brimmer
of life, die a thousand deaths, monstrous
visions motherhood is heir to,
deaths that he vaults himself headlong

toward — we grab tufts of hair, sticky hands,
cotton shirts by the score — we yank him back,
over and over, as irresistibly he goes,
over and over, to that verge.

— From Hunger All Inside (Finishing Line Press 2009) by Marie Gauthier


The Second Miracle

Puckered, immersed, our fearless son

tosses rocks into the lake, steps deeper, lured by the fish

flashing just beyond the shallows, steps deeper

for the vital, more perfect stone,

and I leap for him, see:

my baby’s hands thrash water

before he drops like a golden coin beneath the surface.

Back to the bath with a fresh towel

after only a second away, and he’s standing

in the tub about to swing

his arms down for a mighty wave,

and I leap for him, see:

his small head dashed against the porcelain,

his body a broken toy floating in pink-tinged froth.

The miracle of his birth — stubborn

child so burrowed as to be cut from my heart-

shaped womb — was but a first

sprouting of the panic that bloomed

and coiled around my spine, pulsing its muscle

like a secret, second heart.

Every day I see him, our brimmer

of life, die a thousand deaths, monstrous

visions motherhood is heir to,

deaths that he vaults himself headlong

toward — we grab tufts of hair, sticky hands,

cotton shirts by the score — we yank him back,

over and over, as irresistibly he goes,

over and over, to that verge.

13 thoughts on “Hunger All Inside

  1. amazing. I love it. just wandered in here by accident. makes me yearn for my former life of writing and poetry. thanks for the incentive.

    if this is view from potholes my blog is view from the shoulder of the road or maybe dirt road…check it out if you get a minute. i used to write for a newspaper book section. still a little out of practice. love your poem. refreshing to see this blog.

    juli aka baileyryan

  2. Thank you so much, Donna — for ordering, for reading, for enjoying, and for taking the time to tell me about it! I know how hard that last bit can be — as much as I read, your blog included, I don’t take time to comment as nearly as much as I should. I really appreciate it!

  3. Pingback: poetry is dead

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