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Meatless Fridays, a poem by Mary Redman

Meatless Fridays

were meant to be a sacrifice. Frozen fish sticks
or tuna salad on toast with vegetable soup
filled our bellies most weeks. But sometimes,
unpredictably, Dad would bring home carryout
cheese pizzas and a six-pack of Pepsi Cola in glass
bottles. Entering the front door, he bore the scent

of melted mozzarella and crisp baked dough
in twin cardboard boxes. Each of us snagged
a slice and giggled when the stringy cheese
stretched from box to plate. Six of us
kids eyed shrinking pizzas across a long,
scarred table, as grease and tomato sauce

dripped on chins, and fizz from half a soda
filled our noses. Nights like that,
Dad was a hero, and our myopic eyes failed
to see the fraying cuffs of his pressed white
shirt, shiny elbows of his suit, thinning hair,
weary gaze, or the hollow set of his dark eyes.

                                                          —Mary Redman

Mary Redman is a retired high school English teacher who works part time supervising student teachers for University of Indianapolis. She enjoys having time to volunteer and to take classes at the Indiana Writers Center. She has had poems published in Flying Island, Three Line Poetry, Red River Review, Northwest Indiana Literary Journal, and Tipton Poetry Journal, and elsewhere.