The Corral, 1999 Page: 17
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You told me I could have
anything I wanted. I had never
heard that before, standing at
the candy counter, palming
the glass. You stood waiting
for me, quiet, but casual, as if
children always get to choose
a candy bar as their parents
pay for dinner.
My head didn't reach the top
of the counter, so I pressed
my face against the pane,
not conscious of the mess
I must have made, and
made my choice: "The Reese's
Peanut Butter Cups, please."
I held it in my hands as we drove
to your house. Your new wife's
son ate his Junior Mints before
we pulled out of the parking lot.
I knew he wanted mine.
He didn't ask. I didn't offer.
I can't remember eating that candy.
What sticks with me is your saying
I could have anything. Mama
would never have said that.
Money was always tight, eating
out rare, and candy cheaper at the
grocery store. I wouldn't have even
I thought you and your new family
must go out every night, eating
hamburgers and ice cream, buying
candy for her son and little mints for
yourselves. I thought you must
spend every weekend playing
Putt-Putt and going to the zoo.
I thought you must sing songs
in the car on family trips
like we used to.
Mindy von Atzigen
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Hardin-Simmons University. The Corral, 1999, periodical, 1999; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth109488/m1/19/: accessed May 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hardin-Simmons University Library.