photo courtesy of Fashionslide (via Wikipedia)
photo courtesy of Fashionslide (via Wikipedia)

The Pachinko Machine

If I remember it right
they found it at a Sears store
among the hammers
lawn mowers
washing machines
garden hoses
rain jackets

(remember the Sears nut counter, where you could buy a warm paper bag of red-skinned peanuts while you shopped for nails and screws?)

They stood, looking at it,
for a sweet long time
talking to the salesman.
The pachinko machine
stood there, mute,
exotic, beautiful, unnecessary.

(how did it get here, from Japan to this midwestern hardware store? who signed his name to this shipment?)

My parents were generally
frugal and practical. This was not
the sort of thing they bought.
My grammar school heart raced:
“Please oh please oh please.”

I imagined hours of joy,
pressing that lever,
rocketing the shiny metal balls
to the top of the game
then watching them fall like hail,
plinking and jumping
among the wire pins,
willing them along the certain path
to release a fortune in shiny metal balls.

My heartbeat pleas
plinked in my chest.
“Please do this one wild thing”.

This is my offering for last week’s summer writing camp prompt: Plink.

This week’s prompt (if you happen to be playing along): Persuasion…

Summer writing camp: Update and new prompt


H and I both wrote poems for the first theme (“summer solstice”) of our summer writing camp. She wrote a concise haiku about a confident, cinnamon-furred fox, dreaming under the moon. And I wrote a rambler about the solstice being both the start of summer and the start of the plunge into fall (I’m nothing if not consistent, eh?).

I know that was a tease, but we’ve decided (for now) not to publicly share our work on this blog. We’ll see how we feel after we’ve done this for awhile.

But I did want to share this week’s prompt, which is (thanks to H), “Plink”.

Think of it as the sound of a rain drop hitting the metal roof, or a coin dropping into a jukebox, or an electronic wake-up alarm, or an ice cube hitting the side of a glass, or a pizzicatoed E-string on the violin.

What does it make you think of?