Sunday, November 2, 2014

Making ends meet

On the playground, the Sisters of the Holy Cross sell little bags
of chips and boxes of chocolate milk. 
Not expensive but more than I ever have in my pocket, 
which is almost always nothing. 
But sometimes I am the owner of dimes, 
stolen from my father’s dresser or given by a fairy, 
so I can purchase a box of ice cold milk, 
maybe even a bag of chips. 
As I write about it now, a half century later, 
I am overcome by the same lightness of spirit 
that follows those first sips,
that satisfying sweetness assaulting my mouth. 
My pleasure seems extreme 
because it isn’t just the flavors of the loot that brings 
exhilaration, it is that the power to buy 
is the ticket into the universe. It makes me part of it, 
no longer she who stands outside it, on the edge 
of the Black Hole horizon, observing the brilliant stars 
around her. Now I have what it takes to belong 
to the beautiful world swirling around that playground. 

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