The sun sets
like an arcade
sliding it’s way
down the slot.
But they cannot redeem
my ten year old tickets
behind the counter anymore.

“Not for prizes,” she says.

“Not even for high scores in skee ball?” I beg.


But the teenage girl in the collared shirt;
She offers to recycle all I brought her.
“This,” I tell her while yanking out my stack,
“would have been enough for at least
a 13” color television, back in my day.”

She smiles and hands me back
a green and white chinese finger trap.

I never would have guessed
the value of these tattered tickets
would have matured this much.
Thank heavens for combat boots and lip gloss;
White cotton and blueberry eye shadow.
All my childhood stars finally paid off.
All my wishing in hot breath before this glass case;
I am finally going home with my greatest prize
since the Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card,
gent mint 10 on a black marble frame.

written on 11/15/2010 by: Matt Kane