Toy Room

By Maria Hummel

One son plays monster rage. His brother
plays ship crashed in a maze. We
are reading Hulk. We are reading
Theseus. White sails, green men,
bright women who give everything
and get nothing. The monster son
would never sail a ship into
a maze, but brothers are not
the same. They hear the same stories
and make different toys of them,
muscled figures in their fists, walls
of wood and magnets. Who knows
why a part of me always departs
this place, glides out the window
to rain and falling leaves, dresses
of wetness and gold. She floats
there, blessed by air, but when
she tries to slip back in, she can’t;
she hangs beyond the glass, panicked,
then bulging with fury. Days later
another part of me flies, into a maple
the color of platelets, and another into
bareness and sky. I’ve lost count of
how many fists are now pounding
my house, how many mouths are
braying how many cries, but here
inside, for now, my dear sons call to me
for their fallen castles, built again,
to find all the missing arrows.

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