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✧ Finalist for the 2022 Gearhart Poetry Contest ✧

Selected by Benjamin Garcia


At nausea’s ease the dying make demands.

My mother wanted steak. Her nights of brown

rice, lentils, chicken breast long gone, I ran

for takeout, but on my return I found

her sour, her hunger passed. Your dad who thought

that kale would save his life now asks for duck

confit with figs and avocado topped

by lime, cilantro. How we like to look

at last meals. Single olive. Pit. Pecan

pie, saved for later. Cookbooks, so you too

can feast as one condemned. I could be wrong

about my dad’s last joke. He sat up, cooed

out Feed me Feed me Feed me like a babe.

I can’t remember what it was he ate.


RENÉE LEPREAU recently completed her MFA in poetry at UW-Madison. Previously she worked as a midwife and lactation consultant. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in TYPO, Seneca Review, The Worcester Review, Exposition Review, Rappahannock Review, and others.


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