05 September 2013

Taken Toys

When I was a child,
I would pocket my friend's toys:
a marble here, a fading GI Joe there;
a half-used eraser, a Yahtzee die,
the army guy with the bazooka,

or pieces: the plastic plug from a watergun,
Barbie's shoe, the Play-Doh knife,
a Hot Wheels car missing wheels,
a jack, the Transformer missile
that wouldn't fire from the launcher.

It wasn't the stealing, it wasn't the toy,
but the need to have a memento,
a reminder of my time with them, a reminder
of how happy a child could be.
            LITTLE DID I KNOW,

that they weren't thrown away or returned or lost
in the cushions or down the grates or retaken by other children:
the other day in a dream I opened a room
and found it filled with all my taken toys.
Growing up, I'd forgotten them anyway.

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