At the Costco Food Court

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At a buck fifty, you won’t find a hot dog
that tastes as good. On one side
of the plastic picnic table topped with a Sabrett umbrella,
I eat mine with a thin line of yellow mustard.
On the other side, Mom’s has the deli mustard and sauerkraut.
“Mom, I’m different now,” I say mid chew,
apropos of nothing but needing to say it then.
I expected incredulity. She often thinks
I say crazy things and mostly I disagree with that
and sometimes I do say crazy things just for the fun of it.
At age fifty plus, I still take pleasure in that.
This time, though, I’m not so sure if what I’m saying is crazy or not.
Sometimes I barely recognize myself. So I look at her hard.
She keeps on chewing and I know she’s thinking
that the steps to our mother/daughter dance have changed.
These days, I call her on bullshit I used to let slide. Even her
mother-guilt has lost its mojo. I have no more buttons to push.
She nods her head in agreement.
“So you think so, too?” I say.
Mommy says, “Yes, but that’s a good thing, right, Pom?”
using the nickname she gave me when I was a little girl.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014

The Known World, Part Two

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When God was briefing everyone
on the grand design,
I snuck off to the back room
to watch cartoons on T.V.
I caught up with the crowd
when it was time to invade the earth
but by then everyone else
seemed to know the pattern
that I’m still trying to figure out.
I can’t tell when I’m turning a corner
until I reach the intersection,
then I twist my ankle a little.
For every fact that someone is sure about
I have my doubts,
and for every answer I finally get
I can’t help but think
I should already have known.

©A. D. Joyce, 2014