Orange Vanilla

It tastes like heat
Waking you up
In the uncomfortable closeness
Of summer

Patched knees on my pants
Smell of sweaty boyhood
Hands dirty and cut
Breaking bottles in the alley

We learned about fighting
When to run
And other times
There were no places to run

But that treat
So cold
Orange chemical sweetness outside
Sugary vanilla explosion inside

It was worth the walk
Four blocks to the market
A few pennies
For a few minutes

This photo reminds me of the 50/50 ice cream bars of my youth.

5 Comments

    1. The best fighting tactic is to get away from it. We were in a ‘burb south of LA. Gang life was typical, so our Christian upbringing as a little out of place. We were one generation away from generational poverty. I suspected we were “poor.” I felt it when in third grade, standing in line before class. A sweet little girl in front of me turned and eyed me up and down. She looked right into my eyes and said, “you’re poor.”
      In some ways she might be right…

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Agreed. And if my “poverty” meant wearing clothes owned by my older brothers and getting the occasional charitable food donation….well that’s not poor. We did not go hungry (starvation… I was always “hungry” as a kid), and we had a roof over our heads.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Someone just told me last night that children of poor means are happy regardless because they don’t know what they’re missing. We first world people make ourselves miserable dwelling on all the things that we are “owed”.

          Like

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