On Making Bisque to Comfort the Mother Who Lost Her Son

shawn-aveningoShawn Aveningo is a globally published, award-winning poet who can’t stand the taste of coconut, eats pistachios daily and loves shoes … especially red ones!  Shawn’s work has appeared in over 100 literary journals and anthologies.  She’s a Pushcart nominee, co-founder of The Poetry Box, managing editor for The Poeming Pigeon and journal designer for VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions. Shawn is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon.



On Making Bisque to Comfort the Mother Who Lost Her Son

I pick tomatoes from my garden.
I carve each one with an X.
I blanch. I peel. I puree.

As I press the pulp, extract tiny seeds
through a strainer, I remember
a day long ago in September, when

my son had just turned sixteen.
He was king. He had everything
to live for—minus the will.

We were lucky. We reached into
dark water and pulled him up.
She found the gun . . . her dead son.

Citric acid stings the flesh under
my fingernails. Her eyes sting
with the sight she’ll never un-see.

I grind a few more peppercorns,
season the soup with minced basil
add salt of a mother’s tears.

One thought on “On Making Bisque to Comfort the Mother Who Lost Her Son

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