Pickling Love
by Mandy Brown

The foul smell of love:
Permeating the trailer
Sinking into the dishes, the cream cabinets, and
Our crinkled hands
While we worked together
A four year old and her mother.

The sweetness,
Pickles for dinner
Bigger than my forearm
Sour enough to hurt your teeth.

The taste of those summer days,
Sweet country air
Seasoned with cedar and oak
And crunching into my mother’s love
Letting the juices fly across the kitchen.

SOURCE: “Pickling Love” first appeared in Texas State University’s Persona Spring 2011 and was reprinted in Your Daily Poem in May 2013 and Swamp Lily Review Spring 2014.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author after church at around age four.


Mandy Brown
is a poet in Central Texas, the 2013 recipient of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s Tillie Olsen Fellowship, and the author of The Sting (Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013). Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Extract(s), Eunoia Review, and more. Mandy currently teaches English at an alternative school for high-risk students and loves it! Read more of her writing at