by Patrick T. Reardon
I was six and unclear on the concept.
The commercial, black and white, for Sugar Jets
told me, if I ate a bowl, I would be jet-propelled.
I could see the boy and girl eat Sugar Jets
and fly around the box, jet-propelled.
They were drawings. But a contract was offered,
You can see where this is going.
I nagged my mother or maybe my father
— a scary proposition, either way —
to buy Sugar Jets, without saying why.
A box was bought.
I ate a bowl
and went to the back porch, two flights up
from the pavement and lawn below,
looked out over the yard and alley and blacktop,
a gray pavement playground.
At least I didn’t throw myself off.
Instead, I waited for whatever would happen
to jet-propel me
out into the air
and into freedom
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