What would be a paraphrase of the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Gary Soto's poem "Oranges" is narrated in the first person, from the point of view of an older man looking back on his first date. The poem starts with the boy walking towards the girl's house on a cold December day, with two oranges in his pockets. A dog barks at him when he arrives at the front door. The girl steps out of the door, pulling on her gloves and wearing rouge. They walk until they get to a drugstore and walk down the candy aisle. The boy asks the girl what she wants, and she selects a chocolate that costs ten cents, but the boy has only a nickel and the oranges in his pockets. When they arrive at the cashier, the boy places his nickel and one of the oranges on the counter:

When I looked up,

The lady's eyes met mine,

And held them, knowing

Very well what it was all


Rather than humiliate him for his inability to afford the chocolate, the checkout lady accepts the orange and nickel as payment, and the girl and boy go off, and the girl eats her chocolate and the boy his remaining orange. 

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