Picnic Parenting

Megan Warner

I.

I wear a potato salad smile, yellow

Kind of squishy but soft like a 

“my mom makes it better” – don’t you know?

Still disappointing, but a quiet type

Like you were expecting not to taste

What you wanted potatoes to taste like

II.

My finger gets stuck in the hole

Of a plastic picnic table with the bench 

Attached at the side – you know the ones

That leave honeycomb crescent marks on 

Bare thighs you promised mom you wouldn’t

Bring today like she expected you to listen

III.

Her hand is heavy plastic on my shoulder

A squeeze and go somewhere in between

A sunflower yellow and something hole-like

And squished empty. I pull my finger out 

and walk away only imagining the look 

on her face seeing the skin below my shorts 

Doesn’t make the potato salad mustard 

Taste like Jessica’s mom mixed it instead

poetry, 2020