✧ 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.