Ranking Rewards


Early Saturday morning I sit in the obor,

cracking a hardboiled egg on the edge of the front step.


Watching grandma snip thorns from bushes with rusted scissors,

then cut half a dozen peachy roses to place in water on a rickety table,

next to the apple she slow-baked for grandpa,

who walks in at noon, demanding a shot of rum.


Flies buzz over the roses; he doesn’t touch the apple.

Did you get good grades this week? Here’s a coin. Walk on inside.”


I walk in, thumbing the surfaces of the coin.

Grandma yells at grandpa.

Grandpa breaks a plate.


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