Thou Shalt Not Steal

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Wood Drug Store
was just a short walk
from our house
in Kirkwood.

With a full-service
soda fountain,
a freezer full of
ice cream novelties,
the latest comic books
and baseball cards,
Bazooka gum,
Hostess Twinkies
and every other candy
imaginable,
it was a kid’s paradise.

No doubt the pharmacy
dispensed drugs, too,
but that wasn’t
on our radar.

One day while browsing
the school supplies
in the back corner
of the store,
my friend issued
a dare
to pilfer a few items.

This was, of course,
before the advent of
surveillance cameras.

Only the watchful eye
of the manager
stood between us and
the front door.

With a handful of
erasers
stuffed in my jeans,
we triumphantly
exited the premises.

By the next morning,
guilt
had eaten a hole
through my pocket.

Off to the drug store
I went.
Quickly
I placed the erasers
back in the box
from whence they came.

I breathed
a sigh of
relief.

So much for
a life of crime.