by Rob Renaud 

The smell of cellophane
still brings on hunger pangs
memories of cardboard rectangles
icy shards of orange-pineapple juice
making my throat raw
dancing and yelling as
the white box delivery truck
flew down the rutted dirt path
that ran between the swings and the field
an overgrown field that served many purposes
but mostly it was a repository for used needles and cracked glass vials
never wear flip flops to the park
the door would bang open
the metallic track complained as it lurched upwards
several plastic crates were handed down to the teenage counselor left in charge
we lined up
a few white specks mixed in a sea of brown
I swam in my oversized shorts
my little brother's hand me ups
I always made sure he ate first
two pieces of soggy white bread
held a frozen disc of peanut butter and jelly
sour apples struggled against pliable plastic
the food we didn’t eat
went into a rusted oil barrel that smelled of soured sickness
one rule to the free summer lunch in the park program
nothing left the park
I watched half eaten sandwiches get tossed in the filth
sour apples went to waste
a second truck came shortly after the first
it took the waste away
one day I pretended to throw my apple in the trash
a defiant child
I stood alone
reaching into the barrel
filling my pockets.

Rob Renaud is a graduate student in Massachusetts. Most of his writing centers around his childhood. He still has plenty of experiences to share. When he’s not killing himself to make deadline he loves to spend time with his wife.