Photo of my children, just before I turned to stir the stew. “The Clean Plate” was first published in Crab Orchard Review (Dec. 2019)
You just grew up.
Just like that.
Just now, sitting at the table
while I had my back turned
to stir the stew.
Just gobbled down all your crusts
as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
I cannot believe
you ate all the crusts, already.
If I’d seen this moment coming
yesterday, at breakfast, when
they were still inedible and evil,
I’d have saved those last crusts
with your little teeth marks, shellacked them
and glued a picture of you,
right then, in the middle.
By Elizabeth Boquet