Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Meal

Bright orange marigolds fill the
planter in front of McDonalds
a melted mixture of the
red building and golden arches
flared like the bottom
of a bottle rocket in a bed of
chalky white rocks.
A comfort, an invitation, like being a child
at grandmothers all over again.
Past the 99 cent quarter pounder
plastered window a child sits
with her parents, waiting for her
“happy meal”. She pulls out the
cookies first, then the rubbery
chicken nuggets, bypassing the fries
as she searches frantically for
the plastic toy she knows is always there,
as her father reads the paper and her mother
races through a list of things she must get done
this week. Neither of them noticing each other
or her. Or that the head as fallen off of her brand new
mini Barbie. But she doesn’t cry, or make a fuss,
simply slides it under the table…
she knows there will be a new toy next week…
same time, same place at their happy family meal.

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