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By John I. Blair

When I was young, each time my father drove
Past Armstrong’s Ice Cream Parlor
I dreamed that pleasures of the flesh
Beyond imagining
Awaited me behind the smooth façade,
The pristine door.

The fall I came of age and started high school
(Right across the street from Armstrong’s)
My wait was done.

One Friday afternoon,
Popping with anticipation,
Five dollars in my pocket
And gastronomic orgies on my mind,
I strode the flower-bordered path,
Slipped through the stainless door,
Straddled a shiny vinyl stool,
And ordered up a Gut Buster,
Intent on going straight to heaven.

When my fantasy appeared
It presented as a trough
Of purest white vanilla,
Split bananas, fresh pineapple,
Spooned with half a dozen pools of syrup,
Pillowed in a frothy pile of foam,
A maraschino cherry on the top.

I ate it all, and neither swooned
Nor did I drool.

But I never went inside again.

©2005 John I. Blair  

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