Tamara Burross

Brunch with Mother


My moth­er col­lects rocks.

She has them by the buck­et

Outside her cab­in, by her col­lec­tion

Of emp­ty glass mag­nums.

She places them care­ful­ly side by side,

In a pat­tern, over the course of months,

So she won’t have to mow

Her tiny patch of lawn.

She reminds me of this

As we go.


October trees blur into flam­ing ever­greens;

My moth­er stares out the car win­dow.

We get out with­out speak­ing;

The trem­bling embers

Of each leaf

Burn slow in the breeze.


We eat brunch under the blaz­ing Chestnut,

Slicing bits of cap­pi­co­la and

Wedges of Brie,

And after, we pull

the ther­mal carafe and cups

From the bag

And pour cof­fee.


We sip as fiery birch leaves flit past,

Watch the con­fla­gra­tion

of a hill­side beech. She says

She hates fall because

It reminds her of

The com­ing cold. She says

Do not ever depend

On a man. She says do not live

To be old.


When she gets drunk and angry she reminds me

That I am not wel­come at her funer­al.

It’s as if she believes that’s the only par­ty

That might ever be thrown for her,

And as if it’s the only thing over which

She might even indi­rect­ly

Have some con­trol.



Tamara Burross is a stu­dent of English Literature.