Choices

9 May

Last week, feeling like the 8th graders needed something amusing for poetry Friday, we read the poem “Bliss Point or What Can Best Be Achieved by Cheese” by Benjamin Garcia. Then, I challenged students to write about their favorite snack food. I recalled a time when I was under 7, and had to make a hard snack choice.

On Saturdays we would get a dime

Then go to the Tanners’ store to get our weekly treat.

I used half to buy a Mars bar

And the other half for penny candy

Licorice cigars, jube-jubes, jawbreakers.

You could get a lot of penny candy for a nickel.

Then, one day, the unthinkable happened:

The price of a Mars bar went up to a dime

And I had choices to make.

Should I get only the Mars bar, which I loved,

Or spend the whole dime on penny candy.

It was a hard choice.

I don’t remember what I chose.

I just remember the dilemma-

My first encounter with inflation.

5 Responses to “Choices”

  1. Saphio May 9, 2022 at 6:01 pm #

    Great poem. I like how your phrasing dramatizes this decision between a Mars bar and penny candy. It was just a small moment (assumedly), but you do a great job emphasizing how inflation is such a bully!
    Your poem reminds me of Rip Van Winkle for some reason. I wonder how he would react if confronted with this scenario in the short story. It would make quite an interesting twist.

  2. TammyB May 10, 2022 at 6:31 am #

    Thank you for sharing these poems! I love having the kids write about ordinary things. It makes poetry so much more accessible to them!

  3. Trish May 10, 2022 at 8:41 am #

    So terrific! You make me remember the first time I shoplifted (no, it didn’t start me on a lifelong path of crime) when I was, maybe, five?! The motivation? Necco wafers and an adamant, “No,” from mommy. I’ll bet the eighth graders had fun with this!

  4. arjeha May 10, 2022 at 12:42 pm #

    I loved going to out local store for penny candy. All the choices. That would be a hard choice to make. Buy something that is gone in one sitting or buy things that might last a couple of days.

  5. Lisa Corbett May 11, 2022 at 4:14 pm #

    That’s a hard choice!

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