dear june cleaver: your apron is too tight


Fifth Grade Family Feast

They ask for mashed potatoes
and she imagines
slicing the pale calves
her daughter called prickly
into neat cubes,
boiling with salt,
mashing them into fleshy mounds.

Loaded invitation
in the child’s backpack,
requesting families,
preparation of food
in warm homes
with steamed windows.

One person – gravy,
next item on the list.
She climbs into the big silver pot
simmers until her juices run brown
as the crazed river
she could not keep from the basement.

Eat any dish delivered from a broken home
at your own risk.
Roast turkey will put down roots in the belly
strong as the claws that reach
from the great tree keeping the light
from her kitchen.

Four people — bite-
sized desserts–small joy
at the end of the feast.
Beware the pie
with sorrow baked in—
its feathers will stick in your throat.

She settles on sending in knives
and forks, not implements of torture
but sharp reminders
of what is needed to survive.


this poem is definitely raw–as in, half-baked, not yet ready for consumption.  i mean, where is the stuffing?


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