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Column Addition


Yellow tape circled the

house, hid my mistakes

from friends. I added

orange cones around

the kitchen table desk

but mom crossed

through, boxed my ears

over incorrect sums

before dinner, pie, and

stories of the past.

Alone I sat each night

until I drank my milk

and wished I’d walked

to the creek where

crawdads squirmed –

unlike rigid sums

drawn up like firing

squads before penciled

points on paper. I’d lure

those squads. Tie them

together with bacon

added to the end.

Cast them out where

crawdads nipped until

they disappeared.


t. l. cummings

Shutterstock image.


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