The Ones that Count
“I value the silence between us” I said to my aunt
as we walked from the A&P. She wouldn’t let me
carry the bag with the eggs, but I got to hold
the white sack with the rye bread. I had already
snitched one of the end pieces (delicious!)
which she pretended not to notice.
“Listen Stevie”, she said, “we don’t have to talk
but you shouldn’t say things like that.
I don’t mind, but really, it makes you sound weird
and kind of updatable, you know?”
My aunt worried about my social status,
the kinds of girls who would go out with me.
“You want to attract the ones that count” she said.
Meanwhile her daughters were climbing trees in the yard.
They threw acorns down at us as we approached.
And they could throw, let me tell you, big stars
on their softball team, so I was glad they didn’t try to hit us.
My aunt walked through that hail of nuts not only unscathed
but supremely unconcerned. “Stupid girls,” she muttered.
“Their father wanted tomboys, so here they are.”
I brought them each a slice of rye as they climbed down
with scabby knees, their dirty hands reaching for the fresh warm bread.

Steve Klepetar

If you have any thoughts on this poem,  Steve Klepetar  would be pleased to hear them.