Home life is getting worse by the day. My Mother is very stingy with everything, from her affection to feeding us. I am always so hungry! For breakfast I get one small bowl of cereal and a piece of toast and if I ask her for anything more the answer is always, “No!” 

Before my Mother gets up I take an empty coffee can, sneak upstairs and quietly climb up on the counter, open the cabinet door, snatch a piece of bread, some crackers, and cereal and whatever else I can place in my coffee can and quickly run back downstairs. My sisters and I lift one leg of our bed, place the coffee can under the leg and lift the leg up and down smashing the contents into a kind of mush that we scarf down filling the growling hole in our stomachs.

At school I stand in front of the lunch tray drop-off and ask other kids, “Can I have your left-overs?” 

On really bad days, I take discarded banana peels, cover them with the school’s tabled mustard, and eat them.