Bona Fides

Was the pea underneath 
two dozen cushions 
really a pea, or a hard, 
painful lump on
the girl's backside?

If you were merely a guest 
dropping by uninvited or un-
announced, you wouldn't expect
to be offered percale sheets
and a pancake breakfast.

My Lola always boiled
the breakfast eggs along
with coffee in the percolator—
when espresso machines could
just as well be spaceships.

But no one ever examined my hands,
turning them over to check the thinness 
of skin; or made me lay my fingers on 
the table, my nails like new potatoes 
pushing headstrong through soil.

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