Brianna Kehrer


A stringy scared stepchild.

Five foot five. 96 pounds in her layered winter clothes.

Mom gets hit the hardest.

She gets hit for muddy church shoes on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Mom gets hit for doing her homework instead of her chores.

She gets hit for requesting seconds at supper.

Mom’s mom gets hit so hard she gives birth to Mom’s autistic sister.

Mom goes to prom with a bruised eye socket and a knotty head.

She tells me if I lay down with dogs I get fleas.

Mom spends decades refusing I love yous until her will to live is born.

Five pounds fourteen ounces of pure innocence.

A reason to try.

Mom’s eyes change from black to gray to blue.

Mom loses fifty pounds the year she becomes Gram.

She starts gardening.

Mom says plants grow about as fast as grandchildren.

She says growth at any rate means you’re not dying.


Brianna Kehrer is a doting mother of two loving boys. She is an upstate New York native who has been passionately creating art and poetry for 25 years. Brianna received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University at Albany. Her literary work has been published by Up the River magazine and Albany Poets. Her artistic creations and photographs have been featured in various art shows for her job at The Center for Disability Services. She spends her winter months cursing the cold and snow and overwatering her small indoor forest. She spends the warmer months exploring the aesthetic of the mountains and waterways throughout upstate. Brianna’s greatest joy will always be when she is with her children.