The Claw Machine
Outside the doors of grocery stores
Are often jaw breaker and gum ball machines
That spiral clown colored candies down clear plastic tubes,
Dispensers of tiny toys or fake tattoos
Inside hard bubble halves to be easily unscrewed,
And claw machines.
As big as an appliance is,
Filled to their top with wide eyed,
Smiling animals stuffed with cuddly fluff,
A ready made for skillful children’s love.
CHILD SAVED FROM CLAW MACHINE
Is this icon’s periodic claim to fame.
For me the heroes aren’t the firemen.
No one ever wins a prize from claw machines:
Temptation’s mean not had by money, skill, luck or time.
You push four quarters in hard and pull it out again,
The arm inside becomes electrically alive
Careening this way and back as
A bike chain takes a claw above
Puffy cartoon animals pillowed in a pile.
Your dollar makes a one try missing drop.
Erstwhile other prizes shrug, cold shouldering the claw,
And inch away from other greedy grappling.
Each one's level best will make it more impossible
So be the first to try your luck. 1/22/22
Copyright © Stephen Wilson-Floyd | Year Posted 2022
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