A circle of cracker crumbs
around my “cherub” face,
under the shelter of my highchair,
tossed into the fern beside the window
I left when we ate out.
It might have been Café du Monde
where the beignets melt in your mouth,
powdered sugar sticks to licked fingers
like baby powder to a diaper-
but I wanted Saltine crackers.
And the place called Ruby Reds,
our after-church-at-the-cathedral spot,
I learned to love the next few years
peanut shells tossed on the floor
crunching as I walked by the sturdy cabinet
filled with New Orleans’ souvenirs.
For my First Communion it was
Commander’s Palace, where Eggs Benedict
with Hollandaise sauce was to DIE for,
and I told you I wanted a job there when I grew up,
then wished I’d never said a thing, although I
already knew how to handle it. Sshh!
Moving back to our home state at the age of ten,
we sang, “the stars at night are big and bright”
~~~~clap! clap! clap! clap!~~~~
as we crossed the Louisiana/Texas border
and I wondered if that meant my wishes would come true
while big sister kept score with my guilt.
Those tumultuous years?
I’d never recommend sharing bathrooms
with another teenage girl you’re related to
but really don’t like because she pinches you
before school unless you wake up at five,
try to keep the inevitable from happening;
a silent guide, the words I kept inside.
dVerse Poetics: It’s About Time w/Mary
The Sunday Whirl (10-21-12): recommend, happening, cabinet, cafe, shelter, sturdy, handle, peanuts, fern, job, guide, score, face