25 February 2014

TONKA TRUCKS by Michael Hemmingson

We were both
three or four
and beat each other senseless
with our big yellow Tonka trucks, our young mothers
amazed we had no bruises,
cuts or broken bones.
This is what my mother tells me, anyway;
I have no memory of this
other boy I played violent Tonka trucks with
as if we were mini sumo wrestlers
covered in armor.
I do remember the trucks,
thick and hard diecast metal,
American made in a time
before outsourcing—ah, the notion of
inferior toys from Asian sweatshops
makes me feel like I am four or five again,
drinking sour milk and puking
like a poisoned prisoner inside Abu Gahrib.
I wonder if that other boy’s mother
told him the same,
amazed at the resilience of
tiny young bodies
too innocent to know better,
and if he yearns, as I do,
for the days of strength and simplicity.


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