Published on Academy of American Poets (

French Toast

ah my mother used to make it
with eggs and milk
and stale white bread

slid onto a plate with
Log Cabin fake maple syrup
and I always wanted more

to disappear what troubled me
the man under the moon
the man in our living room

make enough spitting bacon
to forget the broken gameboards
splintered bat

missing family car
his vanishings and sudden returns
smelling of other rooms

my mother’s tears
over the stove
her catchy milky breath


Copyright © 2021 by Cammy Thomas. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 6, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I was making French toast one day, when I started thinking about how my mother made it. And that got me thinking about how a mother will often try to make a happy and safe environment for her children, even when it is neither. The poem looks tidy on the page, but the three-line-stanzas, and absence of punctuation, are meant to give a slightly off- balance feeling.”
Cammy Thomas


Cammy Thomas

Cammy Thomas is the author of Inscriptions (Four Way Books, 2014) and Cathedral of Wish (Four Way Books, 2005), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. 

Date Published: 2021-08-06

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