Jeremy Behreandt


It is not for the sweet but the stick
that our neighbors tap maples and spare us
an extra bottle or two to bind our slim
busy fingers at breakfast. We relish

tongues fast asleep against rumpled cheeks;
fumble a dirty hymn while the amber glow drips
down those glass jars and floods our plates,
stranding soggy, hacked flapjacks. There is no

table like ours, the rigid yellow plastic
cracked like an old rotten tooth. We spoon
salt into each other's orange juice. We
trade place mats while Paul Harvey delivers

the Rest of the Story. It is never too soon

to dab on raspberries, frozen stiff in a Cool Whip
bowl. Or draw lots on who cracks the next box
and dips into the pancake mix, who stirs
batter, who scrapes and flips. We might

want chocolate chips or chunks of cinnamon
apple tomorrow. We have piled dime store
china at the sink and, on sugar-rushed
knees, scuffed outside dunce-capped

to heckle the neighbors' dog or strand
a hornet's nest; ride ruts around the lawn
on oversized bicycles or pocket the sun
like the white trash we know we are,

able to collapse the whole afternoon
between index finger and thumb.

Jeremy Behreandt is an undergraduate student at UW-Eau Claire.

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