FINDING TOYS ON THE STREET
Winter Prompt # 28
He’s on the second shelf between
the first doll I made and the bricks
I use as bookends. I suppose
he once was plush with brown velvet
paws. I never knew him plush.
One amber eye is nearly blinded
with the straggle. His joints
are still good. Maybe his mouth
and nose were embroidered
by Mother, who found him
in a trash can in front of Veterans’ Row
when she was pregnant with me
and had no money for toys.
She was learning how to live
with a husband with PTSD,
the farm boy she married—
and Mother all the way from Cleveland—
waking screaming with flashbacks
of the crashing planes, the burning
friends. Later the bear—I named
him Pooh—taught me
about steadfastness and make-believe.
About comfort and the importance
of a second chance.