By Naomi Replansky

"Five dollars, four dollars, three dollars, two,

One, and none, and what do we do?"


This is the worry that never got said

But ran so often in my mother's head


And showed so plain in my father's frown

That to us kids it drifted down.


It drifted down like soot, like snow,

In the dream-tossed Bronx, in the long ago.


I shook it off with a shake of the head.

I bounced my ball, I ate warm bread.


I skated down the steepest hill.

But I must have listened, against my will:


When the wind blows wrong, I can hear it today.

Then my mother's worry stops all play


And, as if in its rightful place,

My father's frown divides my face.


By Naomi Replansky

From five hundred miles away

jealousy can hear

the crumpling of a pillow

beneath two heads.

Volume 8 Index