Fiction Poetry

Chuka Susan Chesney fiction

Hungry Momma


When they were children growing up in Shawnee, Oklahoma, her brother Kirby often pointed out Evelyn’s wide mouth. He’d say, “Little Sister, your mouth is stretchy as a clothesline on a windy Wednesday.”

It was true. Evelyn had no trouble nibbling her lips around spoonfuls of food – perhaps because as a child of the Dust Bowl, she seldom had enough to eat. She was from a family of ten. Her father George, a country doctor with a lascivious eye, abandoned the family and skedaddled back to Arkansas so he would not have to pay child support while he successively married wives number two through five. Perhaps Evelyn was hypoglycemic because in a jiffy she would become voraciously hungry.

In addition to possessing a ravenous appetite, Evelyn was a tightwad. In the mid-‘60s, when her two daughters were young, she was so penny-pinching, she would sit in the frayed velvet chair under one light bulb at night, stitching holes in their panties. She’d hoard soggy, crumpled Kleenexes complete with twisted stalagmites and stalactites in the caverns of her handbag and bathrobe pockets. Sometimes after Evelyn took the girls shopping downtown at the 40% off sale, and they were on their way home – even five minutes from home – suddenly she’d announce, “I’m hungry!” Then they’d have to stop right there at Orange Julius across from the college for a big splurge on hamburgers, fries and three of those fizzy, orange, delicious shakes that puckered their tongues with cistrus bubbles. The little girls were thrilled to have such a hungry mom!

Her appetite did not diminish as Evelyn aged.