"When Mom Is Gone" by Stephen Briseño

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When Mom Is Gone

Dad attempts
scrambling eggs in a pan
slick with melting butter.
He scoops piles
onto our plates,
eggs wobbling
like Jell-O resting in
a buffet counter next
to the salad bar.
No amount of ketchup
can bury the flavor
of butter, now burned,
or Dad’s clumsy dusting
of black pepper. This
isn’t how Mama
makes eggs, Daddy.
My brother confesses.
Then don’t eat.
Dad snaps in a short
flare, not turning his back
from the sink, raising his hand
to his cheek where I can’t tell  
if he wipes a tear
or dish water.

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Stephen Briseño

Stephen Briseño's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Memoir Mixtapes, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, L'Éphémère Review, formercactus, Barren Magazine, and Rabid Oak. He lives in San Antonio with his wife and daughter, teaches middle school English, and drinks far too much coffee. Follow him on Twitter: @stephen_briseno

Photo Credit: Staff

Greg Houle