Ode to Black Childhood
by Chanel Hardy

An ode to 99cent pickled eggs
Smashed together in a sandwich bag of ranch-flavored sunflower seeds
An ode to pickles
And penny candies
And pink starbursts whose wrappers littered the ground beneath us as we talked for hours
Smacking our lips and cracking our mouths as we smiled and laughed at our own jokes
An ode to the old lady whose blind dog freaked me out every time I came through to buy my pickled eggs
And pickles
And penny candies
Sometimes I wonder if that house is still there. If the old lady’s spirit still sits in front of that tv while the spirit of her blind dog waits for us to come by one last time
An ode to my childhood
For I can’t imagine a time when things will ever be as simple as they were back in the hood
When my only worries were which flavor of sunflower seeds I wanted to suck the life out of before spitting out what was left of the good ol’ days on to the concrete
An ode to black childhoods
An ode to the streets.

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