No Toys Under the Couch
By Cheryl A. Bates
I sat on the floor for a moment to scratch behind the dog’s ear
and happened to notice there were no toys under the couch anymore.
No singing coming from the bathtub after dinner or
water on the floor to soak my socks.
No lingering smells of baby lotion and bubble bath
no more stories about dinosaurs, ballerinas, or
living room camp outs before bedtime.
No hair clips and tiny toys left forgotten on the floor
to pierce the arches of my feet at midnight after work
when headed across the room to bed, in the dark.
I lay on the floor now but something is wrong,
no sudden full body attacks from a two and a half foot munchkin.
No giggles of delight from when I toss her into the air
No more, do it again Mommie. Do it again!
Gone are the dainty ribbons and bows for her hair
and the sophisticated nail polish of grape purple and cherry red.
Blue jeans with holes in the knees – “no mommie, I want leotards, please.”
“I am a girl,” she proclaims emphatically, all the while gently stroking her newly found backyard toad.
No more crickets in the jar – where she added a little grass and oh, better yet some dirt.
Her eyes twinkle with an idea – she disappears momentarily to return proud,
having added some water.
“But where’s the cricket,” I say. She points to him caringly.
“There he is mommie!” Poor little cricket covered with mud, I’ll let you go after bedtime.
“Here mommie,” she’d say, “hold this while I go play.”
Off she goes to discover more treasures for the day.
I lay on my floor now – I glance over and see
no complacent toads in a cup, no bewildered crickets in a jar, and
no toys under my couch anymore.
How empty life can be.
Copyright Notice: © Cheryl A. Bates and carolahand, 2013-2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cheryl A. Bates and carolahand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.