10-Line Tuesday

June 18, 2019


Who knew these cookies still existed, Dutch Cocoa from Archway, 12 to a pack, 
that a New Jersey grocery 3,000 miles and 37 years from when I last ate them
would carry, at nose-height, a whiff of my childhood, that when I reached up, 
they’d return me to the San Luis Obispo Kroger’s on a weekend run with my father,
after a ballet class I wanted to love but couldn’t because all the other girls looked like 
flamingos, one preening embellishment after another, while I stubbed my toes 
against an unforgiving barre. It didn’t matter. I floated through the bright aisles
at the helm of the cart while my father plucked a cellophane bundle from a high shelf,
a dozen sugar-dusted disks peeking through, then slid it behind the bread and eggs,
and we glanced at each other like twin defectors, a quiet rebellion glowing in our eyes.