Hooray for Thursday I shouted

in my pipsqueak voice

knowing Friday can't be far behind.

Rushing off to school

rustle of corduroy knickers

whooshing back and forth

dreading daily inspections

by my second grade teacher,

who looked like a runaway

Gypsy with ebony black

eyes and blood red nails

striding up and down the ailse

costume jewlery jangling

glittering in the morning sun

examining little ears and fingernails as we

bent our heads in a yoga-like stretch.

Interrogation followed:

What did you eat for lunch?

Only bologna on Silvercup

I always replied,

having witnessed what my classmates ate

which the German Bundt rallying around

I worried my mother's lambchops

and backed potato might sound Levantine

Exultant every Friday

rescue and rehab provided by mother

at three o'clock, scurrying off to

Hilgren's Ice Cream Emporium

lapping up huge Mellaroll frappes

served on a marble-topped counter

worthy of a royal palace.

Friday evening meant the local movie,

collecting a yellow and orange uninspired floral

patterned dish each week, building

a whole set that languished in the

basement for decades.

When the house was auctioned off

dealers duelled for the dishes

which had become a collectible treasure.

Milton Ehrlich