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By Mary Beth Hines
Mother savored the mock mayo, slathered it on Wonder Bread with a leaf of iceberg lettuce amidst a hail of salt and pepper. She shredded cabbage and drowned the tendrils, mixed it with relish to home-make tartar, bought it by the jug yet she never had enough. I learned to crave the zing when it first hits your tongue—a bit like a lemon but without the bitter after. I would eat spoonfuls after a bad day at school— satin slipping silver through my angsty teenage body. And I understood, without words for it, how addictions start with yearn then bargain for that rush of soothe and hearten.
Mary Beth Hines’s debut poetry collection, Winter at a Summer House, was published by Kelsay Books in November 2021. Her poetry, short fiction, and nonfiction appear or will soon appear in Aji Magazine, Crab Orchard Review, Feral, Tar River, The MacGuffin, Valparaiso, SWWIM Every Day, and elsewhere. Visit her at www.marybethhines.com.
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