This poem was written during a talk by Jules Nyquist at the UNM Writers Conference today.

Short story ahead of the poem: It turns out that I sat in on a similar talk by Nyquist 2 years ago at the ABQ Book Fiesta. When I made that connection, I mentioned it to Nyquist and thanked her for my first poetry publication that happened this month. We had a great conversation.

Also, I met a bunch of great writers today at the conference. Shout out to Susan and Bryan, Mary who also had a 1 on 1 with Liz Trupin-Tulli, and Marsha (a poet). Mary managed to make me both calmer and MORE nervous about meeting and pitching my manuscript to Liz. To be fair, I thought Liz was incredibly intimidating. Not true! Very friendly. Very kind.

I think I completely bombed my 1 on 1 pitch but I think the plot spoke for itself enough to make Liz give me a chance. I’m sending my first 50 pages to her this week (per her request)!!!

On to the poem. The prompt: take “As I recall the meal I ate…” and make something of it. Nyquist read the entire original poem, but much like Finding Forrester, find our words by starting with some of theirs.

“That Night”

As I recall the meal I ate
was sitting there waiting
for us.

The sticky scent of over-browned
hamburger meat
coveredĀ us.

Mom kept her eyes on dad.
Dad kept his eyes on the floor.
Brother and I couldn’t
keep our eyes anywhere.
Wondering if we could eat.
Hamburger Helper gets crusty
if you don’t touch it too quick.