Mom slides two bucks
in the beat cop’s palm
to ignore her Chevy
by the hydrant,
and goes for her weekly manicure.
buys the checker’s wink
at the way-bill he should clock
like the hams that lie
with our order on the loading dock.
Yeah, two-bit bribes,
but they knead and mould
the plastic mind of an eight-year-old.
("Primer" will appear in PN Review, January-February 2015.)