Artwork by Linda Schark

We hand out accolades & allowances never earned like Christmas candy.

Their little tummies swell with killing sugar while ours churn sour

with worry and sleep that will not come. If it did, perhaps we’ll wake

and find it all a dream, undone. No,


no one sleeps in this house, our American Dream hanging sweet & weighty

like visions of sugarplum guillotines dancing above our heads, rotting shiny

dream-teeth in some distant, promised place. Our eyes hang like limp flags

half-mast through rapid fire movement toward morning’s moon-block.


Before, when dreams were bolstered big by thick pages & fat bankers,

stuffing our piggish bellies & padding our thick minds & wallets,

we financed holes & roofs & septic shit with greedy seller’s cash. The dream is yours

to own, they told us. Take it. You deserve the best. Though we never were deserving.


We grabbed the keys and ran like thieves into anonymity, right smack into green white

middle class. Our kids ran, too—across the large & tidy yard in twinkling sneakers, rainbow

-bright through pots of gold, past busy moms and dads, too busy twiddling thumbs & time

& money, our shiny chaperon screens whittling time & minds away & away


we go.

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