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The yarmarka (farmer's market) is about to close. Some of the people are already packing up, offering their last bruised tomatoes at half-price to anyone walking past them.  I am wandering, staring at bunches of herbs, at the same old options - cabbage, pepper, potato, garlic, apple, cucumber. But then I see a pile of peas. The season must have come early this year. I buy a kilo, and some mint. I know what is for dinner. We have not had it in eleven months.

At home, I rip the bag open, showing them to V. She stands by the kitchen table, eyes wide. I crack one open, showing her the little rounds inside. She plucks one out, her pinky pointing to the ceiling.
"Try it." I tell her.
She does, but she does not like it.

I pull out a bowl for them. She jumps up and down a few times. V always wants to help in the kitchen. I pull her to my lap, and we begin pulling them out from the shells. She learns quickly, tossing them with a flourish into the bowl, a few cascading to the flo…

Cracker Jack

Carrying E home in my arms, on a wet rainy night I stopped and rested against a ledge. Her face hid in my coat. I watched raindrops splattering on my shoes, in puddles on the cobblestones. I thought about a dream I had a lot when I was her age.

I am in a small boat in the center of a clean white lake. Objects that looked a bit like Cracker Jacks are popping up all around me in the milky water. Its surface is covered with the carmel corn, and then they all turn black.

The dream would repeat itself, and I would sit perfectly still, watching from the little boat. I did not cry out, as they was no one there to hear me. I did not struggle as I knew the burnt candies would always smother me.

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