Annette Oxindine

Incrementally all at once
               behind a shiny metal hatch, a gumball,
a clank of shut over the dark
               that rolled out red to meet me.
Nonetheless, chomp, chomp,
               I am loved, a penny given, spent.

                                     Or a spell forever cast
backward over yellow-billed
               ducks, white-feathered bellies
full of sale-bin Wonder Bread;
               the lost-again look my mother sent up
tidy rows of hospital windows
               staring square-eyed into pond green;
the polka-dotted bag I wound
               around her wrist to make her
bandage look pretty.