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Child’s Play

Because the formatting of this poem may break on small screens, it is also available as a PDF download.

The cabinet doors slide open: a stage —

red and blue ceramic mushrooms (they
don’t dance)

poodle-head perfume bottle (might dance)
glass deer chained to her babies (she can’t
stop to dance)


The dog-eared books in the corner look on:

the Holy Bible (pages tissue-thin,
no pictures, just lines for figures)
bookends
Father Ben’s Joke Only (Father Ben
wasn’t very funny).


Lola’s reading lamp is hot to the touch,

wires all gangly, unwieldy (unwilling)
spotlight
on the mushroom tops flat like flaps of
skin, and the unscrewed poodle that head reeks
of old perfume.

Sometimes the glass deer slips.
“You might break…” the constant admonition.

Fragile legs
are the first to break.

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