He Rebuilds a Lost Sister (for Jack)

Lost in the supermarket
My special Lego creation
Lost somewhere between
Gummies and hot dogs.

Mommy looked all over
But can’t find it
It’s okay, I’ll build another.
I know I can build another one.

Just two shoulders and arm pieces
A chest shield, two legs and feet
One hand will wield the best sword
In the bin.

This new creation will be cooler –

It will be the coolest.

Almost done!
This,
My best
Creation
Yet…

But I cannot
Find the right mask.

It must have the right mask.
I cannot find the mask.
Daddy help me find a mask.

Daddy, I just want my creation to sit up.
Daddy, I just want my creation to take its first step.
Daddy, I just want my creation to say its first word.
Daddy, I just want my creation to live.

Daddy, please help me
Find the right mask.

Please help me, Daddy,
I need my mask.

2009/2017

When the Doll Broke (for Emma)

When the doll broke, shattered on the floor
What did she find inside the dusted shell?
Did daddy leave a note tucked away in the leg –
Some words that would remind her of a love
He promised would never fade like the linens
The doll wore everyday, no matter the occasion.
By the time she discovered it, would her heart be
Repaired well enough to beat a regular rhythm
When she saw his name or remembered his picture
Turned down on the dresser with the other dolls
Collected on his travels, now just dust-laden?
The good book talks about dust to dust, and this
Dust feels like the blood from his heart when it
Was admitted to the floor of a life left with crumbs
Of a plan, of a hope, of a stitched patchwork claim
Of promises long ago tossed in a barrel over the falls.
Now he walks down the path that had the better claim
Having blazed the trail back to that divergence
In the yellow wood. He stared down both again,
With a deep sigh, saw the trodden one and turned
Away from it, choosing instead the one his heart
Called him to take when he wasn’t listening, when
He thought its regular beat could not be trusted.

Image: Girl Accident Broken Doll by Henri Guillaume Schlesinger (German painter, 1814-1893)