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Picnic Parenting


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


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


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

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