“A Young Woman in Dayton Makes Thanksgiving” By Devin McDonough

Soaked in infant tears
and mushy sweet potato casserole
Laura tries to wash her worry down the bathroom sink.
Weighed down by obligation and a ring,
stacking side dishes
until they match her own heaviness:
collard greens
and macaroni
and stuffing and
pecan pie and
Bella, six, saying
Grace at the end of
the table.She steals a moment from
God, opening one eye to peek
at her father attending church,

Rejoicing touchdowns in the next
room. Unkempt, William’s mashed
potato belly hangs over unzipped
jeans as he prays someone will shut
the screeching baby behind him

Slung over his wife’s hip
refusing the knuckle to

Scuffing the tiles of her kitchen-
prison Laura treks back and forth
back and forth
from stove, to children,
to husband
in his upholstered throne
who does not notice her
world, as it is ending.

Devin McDonough is a freelance writer and actress from Dayton, OH. In 2017 she received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree, with Honors, in English from Skidmore College. Devin currently splits her time between working on her first book of poetry, running a poetry blog at https://www.instagram.com/dev.the.poet, and pursuing her Master’s Degree. She has been writing poetry since the age of 7 and is thrilled to have Burnt Pine Magazine as her first publication.  

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