Christmas Morning

At the Kiwanis, cases
are stacked
and hauled to the open mouths
of hatch-backs,
winter-white breath
of exhaust and excitement.

Every year, boxes
of navels
and tangelos,
Valencia,
and grapefruit
rested in the garage,
next to the door,
for convenient snacking.

Christmas morning, I
would eat three navels.
My father could peel them
in one go,
with the knife
that was always in his pocket, spirals
next to the brazil nuts,
faintly radioactive,
and butter-soaked Chex Mix:
the only use we had
for celery salt.

40 years later,
the Floridian boxes
are still in the garage,
safe-guarding taxes
and receipts
long last needed,
shredded in long loops,
pockets for knives are sent
to thrift,

and nestled in a crack,
a Los Alamos souvenir dime,
faintly radioactive.

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