Florida child

Children growing up with me used mayonnaise lids for dirt-cakes, and phlox for decorations. Dessert, squeezed oranges, peeled spiral skins curled down, like dolls' hair ringlets. Rhythmic hands pump juice to knife-hole at the top. Energy mass force learned from dominoes standing, falling in long rows. Toy blocks for castle building were green and white tile

from remodeled bathrooms. Had men been to the moon, we'd have known

with the evening edition. Monopoly games and checkers

were our day care. Then it happened. Where in St. Petersburg was a Wall Street and how could it fall, like a Humpty Dumpty fall? No apples sold on corners here, but family land for any price. No bread lines. Suitcase, frying pan tied on for long, hot

trip to Texas. New Deal. Fears lift. Back to Florida, not poor, my father,

Builder-worker busy now. Girls dressed in cleaned sewn feed-sack pinafores, with store-bought lace fluttering on tanned shoulders,

Mama raised us. Forever thrifty after, that generation of

patriots, workers, survivors echoes still:



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