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Eggs

“Better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.”
    ~ Proverbs 27:10 (NIV)

It’s a weekly ritual
The stop at the farmhouse
On the way home
Grandpa’s there
With Grandma
And my closest cousin
And her mom too
Three generations of ladies
Who mustn’t want to see me
Since I’m such a rambunctious blundering boy
Since she thinks I’m tiresomely messy
And since he leaves the car without a word
Leaves the engine running
Leaves me fidgeting in back
Waiting
As she monitors the situation from up front
Watching
So I’m always afraid to ask
Waiting
The point of sitting so long wasting gas
Watching
Whether I’ll soon need that likkin’
Waiting
To add the foreseen wails to the engine’s annoying drone
Watching
In the dark
Waiting
For the next round with the paddle will come soon regardless
Watching
I must show no emotion
Waiting
Or I’ll provoke her usual refrain
Watching
“Don’t cry or I’ll give you something to cry about”
Waiting
Endlessly until his return
Wordless
With the box of eggs fresh from the coop out back
What a relief
The car’s finally moving again
Backing in the dark from gravel to unmarked pavement
Turning at last toward the next home down the road
My only home
For three more endlessly envisioned decades

Thanks always returns

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