thrifty black cherry
Black Cherry and Me
by Deborah LeFalle

Standing at the
ice cream counter
By the array of flavors
To choose from
I pick Black Cherry
She picks Pistachio Nut
One colossal scoop
Atop tiny wafer cones
Five cents a piece
Refreshing treat
For a hot summer day
We leave the store
Our lips smacking
In harmonic syncopation
We turn our heads sideways
Tongues contorted
To catch precious drips
Before they begin to
Run down our fingers
She blurts “Let me taste yours”
And abruptly takes a long
Sweeping lick upwards
Causing my scoop to topple
And fall to the ground
She runs off leaving me behind
Alone and sad I start to cry
As my ice cream melts
On the grimy pavement
I want it soooo bad
“Come back Black Cherry!
I’m just gonna pick you up
And kiss you up to God.
That’ll make it all okay
Won’t it?”
I stoop and retrieve
The scoop, put it back
Atop the cone and kiss it up
Take a lick knowing I shouldn’t
Praying I don’t get sick
Then my conscience
Tells me I can’t keep
The germ-infested treat
Nearby thrash can beckons, and
I throw my ice cream cone away
“Bye-bye Black Cherry”
Wish I could get another
But I have no more money
Guess I’ll have to wait
‘Til I come by a nickel again.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem captures an unforgettable memory from my childhood of a trip with my older sister to Thrifty’s Drug Store for a special ice cream treat. Despite my happenstance, I still love Black Cherry ice cream, and I very much value the worth of a nickel even today.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Here I am in the 1950s on the front lawn of family home in Los Angeles, California.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah LeFalle has always liked writing creatively, but only in the past year has she begun to get her work published. Poetry is the genre she is drawn to most, with inspiration for her poems often stemming from personal experiences. Deborah is a retired college educator who enjoys supporting the arts and spending time outdoors communing with nature. Penumbra, Sisyphus Quarterly, and Icon are a few of the journals where her work has appeared.