Cereal Box Prizes

by Alex Boyd

Every child panning for gold, breakfast
the best part of the day: a slim mountain
of hope. Brightly coloured animals
that could cling to a bowl or a cup, box tops
collected for a Black Hole action figure
that took agonizing weeks to appear.
What else was there? Stickers? Neat rows
of them cover the back of my Star Trek lunchbox.
And lessons: cheating and dumping the cereal
into bowls amputated a week of anticipation.
Now I wake up, and there’s an instant before
a thin veil, the knowledge of my wallet
and passwords falls over my eyes, balanced
at breakfast by my daughter’s sometimes
faltering sentences, sets of elegant rope bridges,
my infant son’s noises that sit on the air
a second like paint thrown against the wall.
I’m panning again, for memories from
the distant cathedral of my own childhood
in the distance: crumbling, graffiti-covered.

— from Juniper Volume 1, Issue 3