Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Disrepair — Canon Parker

When I was a boy I had a drawer of toys

in my room. Now they are all broken
of course,

even the old dresser. I left it by a dumpster

in the alley.

I remember laying on the floor of the YMCA swimming pool

looking up at the legs kicking wildly overhead, the pressure
on the skull and the lifeguard
who crashed down

and dragged me up.

When I had my first seizure it was like this,

rising to the surface, seeing all my toys scattered
across the carpet.
My father held my hands
that night and made me pray, he thought
I was going to Hell.

He always thought that and said so once

and I believed him.

We were eating Wheaties with skim milk by his TV,
the kind that whines like a mosquito and his rabbit ears
and tinfoil and old bottles or an ashtray on its head,

it was always whining and always playing the news.

My best friend moved to Chicago after his dad died.

He took a G.I. Joe I had left at his house and

I don’t think I said goodbye.

I found out today that he overdosed

last month. I wasn’t invited
to the funeral. I called his mom to
ask if she knew what happened

to the toy and I heard her

almost laugh.

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