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LEARNING TO BARGAIN / Gary Soto Summer. Flies knitting Filth on the window, A mother calling a son home... I'm at that window, looking Onto the street: dusk, A neighbor kid sharpening A stick at the curb. I go outside and sit Next to him without saying A word. When he looks Up, his eyes dark as flies, I ask about the cat, the one Among weeds in the alley. "It's mine," he admits And stares down at his feet, Then my feet. "What do you want?" "A dime," I say. Without Looking at me, he gets Up, goes behind his house, And returns with two coke bottles. "These make a dime." He sits At the curb, his shoulders So bony they could be wings To lift him so far. "Don't tell." He snaps a candy in halves And we eat in silence. The Missouri Review ยท 13 ...


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