“To spend whole weeks unsat in. To be a drawer that is never opened or a lamp that is never lit. To be an unused cushion, never turned or plumped or held. To be a fallen pin that is never found… To be an unstruck match or an unread book. To be grime. To be dust itself or the unswept dirt from someone’s boots. To spend one’s whole existence unsaluted and unthanked. To be…” (Pilgrim 325)
To spend whole week’s rotting away in the back of your closet, among socks with the stench of playground wars, and the crumbs of dirt-encrusted Nerf guns placed lazily onto the floor. To be a toy, once carefully packaged in a display to make any child want to turn and stare. I was a marketable commodity that adults thought of as a way to make a profit. But you brought me home. You brought me to a life filled with purpose. On the precipice of our existence we took adventures into the depths of Mom’s blankets, we’re spies, stealing candy from the basement, balanced carefree and careless with careful chubby hands, and somehow managed to dream and thrive in this world. You held my cotton hand and told me secrets, blabbered on and on about the intricacies of preschool life, but I began rotting while you continued to grow.
To be a forgotten toy. To lose your appeal as soon as the newest gadget comes out, as soon as talking to people becomes more interesting than talking to “inanimate objects.” I hate that word.
My ribbons are fraying, yet I still hope for would be’s, could be’s, and should be’s. My heart stops when your mother says it is time for spring cleaning. When she brings a cardboard box and tape and tries to thrift your childhood away. But you don’t care. You are all grown up now you say, and my corpse is a sign of your growth.
To be? Alive.
Not to be.
To be, a toy.
Not to be, cherished.
To be? Friend.
Not to be, corpse.
To be, human.
Not to be, trash.
To be, human.
Not to be?
My destiny is not to be.
Emulation From Langston Hughes’ Poem, “Weary Blues”
Droning a drowsy syncopated tune,
Watching an LED screen more than the moon
I heard my classmates today
Through my crappy microphone
By echoes and stutters that interrupt word flow.
He was eating cereal,
She was on her phone,
Passively taking in information through four walls and closed doors.
Our minds half turned off,
We scroll through TikTok and Instagram
Isolation makes personal growth a sham –
Coming from a young soul
In a deep song with an apathetic tone
I heard my classmates sigh, that over burdened groan.
Now droning a drowsy syncopated tune.