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The bucket

It was unusually warm for a day in late April. Probably around 80 degrees. I sat on the road playing in the dirt and waiting for Dad to come home from work. All was quiet. No traffic. A brush of warm breeze swept through my hair. My stomach growled while I played in the damp dirt that edged up against the warm macadam. I hoped Dad had left something in the bucket.

I was glad for Friday to finally be here. The last day of school for the week and my turn for the bucket. The screen door slammed below the hill where I sat and my brother shot me an hateful look and went on his way around the house, probably heading to the store.


Inside, Mom layed across her bed, tired from working all day at the sewing factory. It was hard on her, working an eight-hour day and then coming home to cook supper for six kids and a husband. Tonight was cold cereal.

Finally, Dad's truck came over the hill and I bolted up and brushed the dirt from my shorts. Pulling open the bucket lid, I found a half of a minced ham sandwich, still warm from being inside the truck all day and a half of a chocolate Hostess cupcake. The sandwich melted in my mouth and then I used my finger to scoop the melted chocolate from the cellophane on the cupcake.


I didn't think about it till later in life, long after Dad had left this world. The sacrifice of Dad's bucket. Now I can see him, dirty and hungry after a morning of working hard at the brick yard as he opens his bucket to enjoy lunch. I imagine he left some of his lunch on purpose, for the kid sitting on the side of the road with a growling stomach, hungry as well, waiting for their turn for the bucket.



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