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Hash Browns

by Amy MacLennan

On Sundays I try to wake
early, wash the potatoes before
my father gets up.
I place everything out:
the pan, pepper, grease.
Beg him to do the grating first.
When I oversleep, miss
my chance, he mixes
screwdrivers before he shreds
those potatoes fast.
Still in bed, I hear the ch-ch-ch,
pulp against metal,
and I know I'm late,
bolt downstairs to hear him
slur out a joke about slicing
his fingertips off. With another
slosh of vodka, his hands
fly over the hash, a blur,
then the flinch.
He winces, he does,
and I hate the hiss of bacon
in cast iron, want
the toast to burn.
I'm not hungry. I can't bear
to eat the salt of him.

Amy MacLennan has been published or has work forthcoming in Hayden's Ferry Review, River Styx, Pearl, Linebreak, Cimarron Review, New Plains Review, Folio, and Rattle. Her poems are included in the anthologies Eating Her Wedding Dress: A Collection of Clothing Poems from Ragged Sky Press and Not a Muse: The Inner Lives of Women from Haven Books.