Friday, April 26, 2013

I Put Away Childish Things

Talking Toy Soldiers

Farewell comrades in arms
feet affixed
snappy salutes, square-jawed goodbyes
dissolved in a saline nod
delivered drop by drop
bag flattened in the end
curled autumn leaf
clinging fast in a slack breeze.

Words were getting harder to come by then
milling on a slant mirror of packed sand
watching my childhood go out on a tide
festooned with scuttled crepe party favors.

Officially you were boxed
taped and stacked with honors dark
dank basements ago.
Unofficially missing in action
in Flanders Fields of lint
your final rasps
alone in some cobwebbed corner
bulldozed over the lip of a mass grave.

An American Legion Hall
empty except for me and a particle beam
of morning sunlight
boring through my beer
boring the bartender who bears
some slight resemblance to Efrem Zimbalist
talking to myself
itching for a touch
of solace in your frozen fighting stances.

Lordy lord natural selection
winnowed you down
over messy seasons  
comrades Hoffa-ed over in the sandbox
Hoovered up in the Kirby. 

When in the beginning
I created  
the heavens and the earth
spat in mud
stole a rib
begat My Dinner With Andre
from the remnants
of my Mattel Deluxe D-Day Invasion set.

I saw what I had made
it was exceedingly good
pitting one against the other
GI vs Kraut
Good vs Evil
Spy vs Spy
stilted dialogue
threatened by a rising flood
of predictable plotline.

You soldiered on
when words failed
in the fog of war
all silent on the Western Front.

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