Randy Meets My Mom

Together on the couch, our knees nearly touch.
Mom looks at us, cocking her head
as she rips the wrapper from a Baby Ruth.
How’s Cindy, she asks, your wife?

Randy clears his throat. Mine tightens.
Mom adjusts her elastic waistband
and heads to the bathroom. Once she’s gone,

Randy puts his hand on mine. I almost shake him
off. The clock releases three brass notes.
My knee bounces. I wait
for the toilet’s hushed roar,

staring at a picture on the wall—
a farmer crumpled against a stone barn,
straw hat covering his eyes.

Mickie Kennedy (he/him) is a gay writer who resides in Baltimore County, Maryland with his family and a shy cat that lives under his son’s bed. A Pushcart Prize nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Threepenny Review, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Nimrod, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. A finalist for the 2023 Pablo Neruda Prize, he earned an MFA from George Mason University.

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