Toy soldier

On a trip to Alabama, I found a toy soldier. He lives inside a little box. The box is locked from the inside. At first, I wasn’t sure if he was in there. A pair of eyes with a blank stare and emotionless face is painted on this little box. That little box is almost sound proof. Sounds can get in, but they very rarely make it out. The lady that has the box assures me that my toy soldier is in there. She tells me that he is bad and if he is out of line I should just hit the box, he will only respond to discipline like soldiers​ do. I take my toy soldier home, on the drive I don’t hear a sound. Every once in a while I catch those painted eyes staring in my direction, I wonder if he can see me. I smile but his face doesn’t change, I mean it is painted that way. Every once in a while there is slow intentional blink.

When I get home, I try and open the box so we can play a game. I forgot It’s locked from the inside, I am not sure how it got that way. I can’t get in and he won’t come out. And this painted face doesn’t change, it doesn’t smile, it doesn’t laugh. When I pick up the box, my toy soldier moves. He stiffens, he is made of plastic it is hard and rough around the edges. I hug the box, hoping that one day he will come out. I can hear him crying in there sometimes, His frustrated screams sound angry. Maybe he is trying to come out of his box but can’t find the key. I just want to hold him, but he doesn’t like to be held, that plastic is so hard and pokes through the box when you try to pick him up. I spend my days thinking of how to get that box open, it almost consumes me. The other night I dreamed about him. My little toy soldier and I were locked in the box together. There was no key or knob to turn. We were trapped in the box, in the dark together. We were yelling for help, but that sound proof box just won’t let our voices out.

The next morning I decide I am going to play with the box, even if my toy soldier won’t​ come out. Even if that hard plastic is tough to get used to. Thinking of him alone in there ​is just too​ much for me to bear. Family​ friends play with him too, at first, ​my sons don’t​ believe he is in there. I convince them to take care of and play with the box anyway. My little soldier doesn’t like kisses or hugs. The days pass and I notice that little box likes to see One day I catch those painted eyes staring at me. I pick up the box intending to kiss it, and when my soldier pulled away I grabbed him tighter and instead of kissing him I blew a raspberry on his cheek. I don’t want to scare him if he is in there. It is a really quiet soldier​.

The wolves outside my door

I don’t remember falling asleep, but I wake to growling, and the sound that their claws make scraping against on the hardwood floor. I can hear them running up and down the stairs. There are two already in the room with me, they are sleeping, they must have come in through an open door. The sound of their pack outside rouses the smaller one. She stares at me in silence, she is not the dangerous one. She is tiny and trapped in a cage. I can feel her eyes on me, she is waiting for me to move. I am afraid to look at her. The most vicious one is laying right next to me, not sure how he keeps getting in. I lay in bed my eyes fixed on the ceiling, I am afraid that if I move it will wake him, and there will be no chance of escape. If I don’t breathe maybe they won’t hear me, maybe the little one will fall back asleep. Maybe the others won’t know I’m in here. It’s not working, I can’t hold my breath forever. I try to slip out of the room, but the little one is still watching me. Even though she is not dangerous, she howls alerting the others. They’re outside the door. Howling and biting. I can hear their claws scratching​ at the door. The sound of her howling ​wakes the other one. I run into the bathroom before he sees me. They must have seen my shadow as I ran by. Their efforts to get in the room intensifies. There’s a window in the bathroom but it’s too​ high up for me to escape. All of them are in the room, it almost sounds like they are talking to each other. Planning on how they will get me. I sit in silence,​ as they try to break through the bathroom door. They start to fight amongst​ themselves, maybe I can slip out of the bathroom and down the stairs while they are distracted. No! They can smell fear, as soon as I turn the knob the dangerous one​ is at the​ door. He is almost​ inside, the others follow suit​. They are all outside the door howling. I pull myself together and open the door. The howling stops and the wolves turn into children​. Little faces smiling up at me happy​ to see me yelling good morning every morning.

Breakfast at my house.

My new fairy

I have a new fairy princess, I found her on a trip to Alabama. At first she didn’t want to leave, now she follows me constantly. When I am sitting on the couch she hovers so close that her tiny feet are touching me. When I am in the kitchen, she dances around like a tiny ballerina. When I am writing her little fairy wings flutter about distracting me. During bath time this magical fairy turns into a fish. Diving deep into the bottomless sea. She surfaces from time to time to take a breath. Her little mermaid tail splashes me. While I am trying to watch tv, she like to whisper her fairy secrets. Her voice is tiny she doesn’t talk much. The stories that she tells are of abuse and neglect, sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my emotions in check. It’s difficult for me to hear how her mommy’s husband hit her and her mommy or how he broke her things. Her tears roll down her face and fall directly into my heart. They’re heavy and hard to carry. I barely watch tv anymore, sometimes to avoid her stories. Today we sat in silence our feet up on the couch, she placed her tiny little fairy foot against mine. When silence broke this time instead of another sad story. It was to talk about her boys and her baby. She is glad they are all together, and even though it is hard sometimes. I am glad they are all here to. She makes sure I know that she misses her mommy dearly she doesn’t want me to forget. My little fairy princess

 

I wish you enough

sunset

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how gray the day may appear.

I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more..

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting…
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good- bye.

 

(The copyright for this poem belongs to the author: Bob Perks)

Light-induced migraine​

20150705_155625I am out-of-town with my son today. Sitting on the dock with my feet in the lake.  I am mesmerized by how beautiful the water is. I have felt strange all day but I can’t quite point my finger on why. A nagging pain above my right eye has been poking at me since we got here. All I can think about now is how bright the sun is reflecting off of the water. The water looks like liquid gold shimmering in the distant. It starts to come towards me, The nagging pain turns into lightening,  I close my eyes trying to stop it’s approach. I can see the light through my eye lids, it’s to bright I look up towards the sky. The sky is lovely, the clouds are fluffy and white. Out of nowhere, a strange alien face appears in the clouds. The face is large and distorted. The aliens eyes start to turn gray, they swirl around and around. Suddenly a rainbow prism appears in the sky, it looks almost like a tower in the clouds. In this moment, I realize why I feel strange. I jump up to race back to the car for my shades.

The dock cracks under the weight of this pain. I can’t run, it’s too late. I take another step, the crack spreads  across the dock, it runs along the ground and underneath the car. If I move to fast the ground will open and swallow me whole. The dirt turns into quick sand underneath the balance beam I am walking on. With each step I the fear of sinking into the the ground.  I walk slowly and try to keep my balance. The quicksand is rising quickly to meet me, covering the balance beam. By the time I reach the car, I am up to my knees in it. Before I can get the car door open the sink hole opens, the ground sucking me into the void. I drag myself back out and pull myself into the car, but the void follows me. I search for my shades in their normal spot, but they aren’t there. I try to look under the seat but it’s hard to see anything from within the void. I cover my eyes and  crank up the car. The radio comes crashing into my ears like a wave beating against the shore. I turn the radio down but instead of the radio going down, cold air begins to blow. I must have turned on the air conditioner instead. I try again, the station changes but it is still just as loud.

A hand reaches into the darkness of the void, down into the murky depths with me. I can feel him touching me. I recognize this hand it belongs my oldest son. He turns the radio down. He is talking but I can’t make out what he is saying. When his voice reaches my ears it’s been muffled by this darkness. This all consuming void. He opens the car door and light pours in behind his shadow, I cover my already closed eyes with both hands. He is pulling my arm. I hear his voice again, he is saying “let me drive”. When he pulls me out of the car, the quick sand turns into mud, I sink down into the ground slowly. With his help I pull each foot out of the mud one at a time. I settle into the passenger seat. Magically he pulls some shades from thin air. My vision slowly starts to return. Thank goodness he is old enough to drive now. When he was younger he would have to sit for hours waiting for me to find my way back from this dark void.

Driving home we pass by rolling hills covered in grass. The green waves start to make me feel sea sick. I retreat to the sky again. There is a fish in the cloud, his jagged teeth look like they are waiting to gobble up the cloud floating towards him. Another face appears in the clouds, this time the alien looks female her hair is blowing with the breeze. There is a storm brewing in my head lightening strikes above my right eye. The pain is intense, The clouds break and pain rolls down my face like heavy rain drops. I close my eyes and tilt my head.  The pain rolls across my brain, like a glass ball full of water rolling across a  floor. This glass ball is fragile. I tilt my head back, trying not to break the ball.  It stops rolling and  settles in the back of my head. I didn’t stop it in time, there is a crack in the ball. The water is slowly leaking from the ball and starts  to pool at the back of head.

We sit in silence in the dark “The sun is setting” His voice is clear now. It feels like tiny little pin pricks in my ears. I one my eyes opening myself back up to light as the world around me darkens. Trying to live in the light is painful, the dark is where I live now.