She turns to her sister and makes eye contact. Sister turns her gaze to the crowd. Crowd moves in concentric circles around town square. She waits for approval; and the crowd keeps cawing, mooing, moving away from her. Swallowing sister.

She turns to mother and makes eye contact. She finds the wrinkle in the face and stares. Mother slinks away behind father. Father shrinks away behind aunt. Around the square they go. And the vendors hawk their wares. Swallowing their monies.

She turns to her aunt and makes eye contact. She finds the soft spot. Auntie pulls her purse out of bag. Dollars tremble underhand. Around the Square they walk. And the vendors tease their prey. Salting their palms with temptation.

She flaps her skirts with happiness. And slips her monies good bye. She takes the prize away, plastic and paint. She runs in opposite direction. Proud and valiant. She hugs her newest conquest, her inanimate object of acquisition.

She runs into her friends. She runs into her family. She runs to nowhere with nothing in mind. She avoids eye contact. The toy answers no one, no word. The toy is hard under hands, hard under chin, wet with tears and slobber.

She waves, she runs, she craves, she dangles the prize of the day to celebrate four feet of loneliness into smiles of emptiness; she runs on the tarmac. She spots her sister and makes eye contact. Sister turns her gaze to crowd. Crowd moves in concentric circles. And the band plays on to the rhythms of sweaty bodies.

The lights come on and blink upon a toy. A dirty hand reaches for the warm and wet plastic. A kid yells above the din ” look what I found!” and runs around the square, proud and radiant in his new found acquisition. The crowd wobbles in sync, to tired rhythms. The announcer pronounces the evening dead and dying.

She finds the family by the family car ready for the family farm. She climbs in the backseat to the groans and gripes of a spent feast. She hugs her sweater, stares at the stars. Her day, her time divided by five for her foreseeable eternity.

A kid skips by the square, shaking a plastic toy to the moon, waving freedom at the free sky to the clink of empty beer cans in a plastic bag; tomorrow’s lunch money for his family.

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