Of Toys and Shadows: NaPoWriMo Day Eight

Today’s poem was partly inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt for the day, and partly by Angela Carter, to whom I would dedicate it, were it not for the fact that Angela Carter deserves much better. 🙂 Well, anyway…


[“Edwina et Victoria” by Julien Martinez]

The Toy-Box
by Kalyiel

They are all shadows. How can you be sorry for shadows?
~ Angela Carter, “Shadow Dance”

The moment I laid my eyes on the toy-box
I became infatuated with it, its shiny stickers,
The guileless ballerinas, perched like miniature
Plastic storks onto collapsible cardboard stages.
The jacks like scattered solar systems had me
Enraptured, and the stuffed animals,
With their button and marble eyes
Made the tips of my fingers ache
With the possibility of magic and frustrated desire.
What made me hold back was the missing leg
Of a Roman soldier. That wood splinter absence
Was all it took: I lowered the lid
Of the toy-box and crawled back into
The silence from which I had emerged.
I would have cried, but one never cries
By the tomb of mortared shadows,
Where forgotten children sometimes rest.

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