Herman's big on corn, he likes to stuff his mouth
with Kix and practice his diction.
Grandpa and Eddie go for Trix, which pinks
the milk as though it's tinged with blood.
Only blond bland Marilyn will dare
approach the Cheerios. They float in her bowl
like small life-savers—enough she thinks
to save all the passengers on the model Titanic
Eddie is building for his school project
down in the lab, complete with dry-ice berg
and a looped tape of screams Lily has
taken great pains to record for him.
Lily sips only some root-bark tea. Her man
prefers her wraithlike. Tonight's a full moon.
She worries about Eddie's growth spurt;
Herman crisply articulates what's on her mind:
"You come home right after school, Eddie."
The boy drains the last stained drop
from his crock and wipes his moustache.
"We'll work on the levers for tilting the decks,"
Grandpa entices. Eddie's eyes flare like torches.
Then everyone vanishes into their day.
Jeanne Marie Beaumont
Columbia Poetry Review