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 belongto the beautiful world swirling around that playground.