AUNT JEMIMA AND ME
I hear my heart pumping. No car in the driveway. Door’s open. Walk right in, head for bedroom, open top drawer. "They should have a sign: 'Take one,' like the mint dish at the Chinese." All open trays of gold jewelry, the real stuff. Fill my pockets 'til I have a double boner of solid gold. It's good. It's all good.
On the kitchen counter a box of pancake mix, that little picture in the corner looks like Nana.
Eyes follow me like the picture of Jesus in Sunday school. "Fool! What are you doing in that white lady's house? Fool! Dump that stuff and get back on the train!" That box is blazing red. Stop. Stop. Stop!
Hotcakes, butter, syrup, dripping forkful headed for my mouth. Watering now, swallow, smell them. Stomach growling (never eat before a job). Put my thumb over Nana's picture, look for butter, egg, milk, syrup. Listen for a car.
Pat my pockets. Earrings, cufflinks, rings poke me. I did good. I deserve pancakes.
"Be a good boy, Michael, and run that dishwasher. Let's be neat." Let's be neat. Full belly. Try that lady's lounger. See if it feels anything like Nana's.
Next thing I know, cops standing over me, guns out. Laughing. "What have you got in those pockets, genius? Pancakes?"
Gerald So reads "Aunt Jemima and Me":
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P.M. confesses nothing.
P.M. PEARCE's poems, essays and reviews have been published both in the United States and internationally. Recently, two poems have been chosen for upcoming anthologies.