Imagine your father at seven, at recess, down on one knee
outside the stick scrawled circumference of a marble ring.
In his drawstring bag: clambroths, corkscrews, steelies, crystals.
A cat’s eye rests on his cocked thumb, crocked in the pocket
of a curved index finger catapult. He prepares to shoot,
to run the ring, to gather lootlike handfuls.
Imagine your mother a gum machine. Round
and finite, an array of flavors in strata, waiting for
puberty’s pennies, the shiny orbs, one by one,
patiently waiting their turn
to spin clanging down the chute
battering the hinged door that dispenses.