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“Do the kitchen? I’ll give you Swedish Fish!”
I hear negotiations reach a peak,
numbers flying, the clatter of each dish—
the kids are home, visiting for the week.

That gummy currency bought lots of things—
a chore, “shotgun,” a TV show, a wish—
less like cash and more like sonar pings,
locating love that could be found with fish.

Adults now, pairing Fish with cabernet,
they tease and trade and get the kitchen done.
It’s like old times, and then they go away,
as we adjust to plus or minus one.

Everything’s clean, back in its place, or mostly.
And still I hear the sound of fish, but ghostly.

—Midge Goldberg