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Bake Sales, Anyway

We brought guns to the firehouse bake sale,
shot into the eroded hill, bought carrot cake

with cream cheese frosting.  Snow
forced everything from the walls. 

We caught the carpet-mouse, left him
asleep in a box with crayoned windows.

At church, the priest must’ve said something
before we sang Hallelujah.  Our hands

must’ve been cold, even in mittens.
Climbing into the truck, frost snagged

our tights and dresses, our bodies smashed
together on vinyl seats for warmth.

We raced to the front porch to lick
the icicle hanging from gutter to ground, found

Amy laughing in the doorway wearing jeans,
her purple socks sinking in the burnt orange

shag with olive freckles.  Amy is always
in the doorway laughing.  In the front yard snow

the mouse’s blood is always red. 
We waited inside until sunshine, grass, then ice

melted in our lemonade cooler.  Some men
gave us five dollars for a Dixie cup full,

then drove away waving, their lips wet.

Posted 03/28/13
Appears in Midwestern Gothic, Issue 8
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