Playing there is what came to mind
when you told me to think of a time
when I had no regrets and no worries.
My sandbox was in the shade.
All around me, sickness was in a
muddy crescendo. Dad left Mother,
but I thought I still had friends to play
with and would never come in for dinner.
Mother’s anger was starting a journey,
an 11-year eruption, and now I know,
on the other side of bricks and sturdy,
metal-framed windows there was a sanitarium
with no doctor, and the trees that shaded
the sandbox smelled strongly of vicious
poison, and they dropped gooey stuff
in my sandbox so there was a creeping
psychosis amongst my Tonka toys, but I
had not been trained how to properly worry,
and I sat there, getting more and more sick
over any measurable period of time, until
I blended with the tree parts and the sand to
make the most grotesque soup, and when
the soup started to boil, I learned how to worry
and learned how to hate myself, and then, only
then, fit into the sanitarium with appropriate
manners. I remember the expensive, light
blue rugs giving me false comfort.