At the wire

Plastic army men, gray, blue, green
Lined up in the living room for years.

When his father wondered
At the lack of my complaint over the mess,
I said: “Because one day I know I’ll miss it.”

That day has come & gone.
I imagine the little boy next door,

who my son gave up his collection to,
Lining them up along windowsills & on top
of old shoe-boxes.

One time, years ago, I designed an army fort for my son
out of an old shoe-box. Drew carefully the camouflage
to protect his childhood, to construct smiles.

I made windows
& gun racks & even a helipad on top,
meant for plastic emergencies.

His eyes lit up like sunshine
Reflecting off dark waves & he said:
“Thank you, mama. That’s really cool!”

I must say, it was one of my finer

accomplishments in life-

& now as the years turn & frown with their
Sad mistakes & losses, at least I can recall

Through some certain, tender, beautiful years,
I gave those soldiers a home. Or tried.

~Heather Lenz
May 31, 2013

Poet, writer, artist, publisher, editor