Inspired by this lovely poem, which made me believe, for a few minutes at least, that even I could write a poem.
Cleaning the playroom
A miniature plastic horse, forever frozen mid-gallop.
A pile of buttons, pennies, nickels,
And two seashells, which must have looked special,
When we spotted them on some golden summer beach.
A dozen abandoned attempts at origami,
A papier mache beehive,
A silver barrette, even though she has never worn barrettes.
A hand-drawn comic book, half finished, forgotten.
Dried up markers, glue sticks, wads of Play Dough,
And so many broken crayons. The hope of another fresh Crayola box extinguished.
Balls of yarn, unspooling across the floor, tied to chair legs and doll wrists.
Hungry Hippos, the marbles long lost.
Envelopes, waterfalling over the edge of a desk.
Three matchbox cars, the relic of a Hot Wheels set that felt,
On a long ago Christmas eve, like a childhood memory in the making.
Could I have imagined,
The first time I marveled at her shock of dark hair,
The first time I inhaled her newborn scent?
The goodie bags and treasure boxes and Amazon orders?
The years I would spend sorting it into plastic bins,
Shoving it onto shelves, dumping it at Goodwill,
Guiltily hiding it in the garbage?
This unrelenting tide of stuff that comes with raising a child
In an age of plenty and never enough?