Alternatives by Susie Gharib

Give alternatives for the following, the teacher commands, with a grin,
the twelve-year-old who is eager to pass his test.
Moonlight, the teacher states with a grimace:
A neon tube, the boy promptly replies.
A canopy of trees for shelter:
A bus stop.
A proper bath:
A free drizzle.
A candle-lit dinner:
Chips without fish.
Sailing the ocean:
Paper boats.
A holiday abroad:
A book from the public library.
Doting parents:
Street busking.
A pair of pajamas:
Old, tattered clothes.
Attending church:
Text messaging God.
A proper funeral:
Death by drowning.

A practical boy indeed, to be transferred
to the Department of Adaptability, the teacher decrees
in a realm that vies with George Orwell’s fictive territories.

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