The Notatoy

It is a given that any child worth his salt
Will test the boundaries any adult imposes

It wasn’t fair:
I wasn’t an adult;
The kid wasn’t mine:
I was the babysitter

He sat fidgeting
At the kitchen table
While his mother
Outlined the rules

Teddy was to be in bed
By eight o’clock sharp
There would be no TV
Until he tidied his room

I was welcome to milk
From the fridge and
(Here she whispered)
Cookies from the jar

Teddy heard everything
and was sizing me up
without looking at me
All he needed was my pulse

As the door clicked
He began his metamorphosis
Into a giant squid
By spilling my ink

All over my homework
That was the nicest
thing he did all evening
Until I found him

playing with the large
butcher knife under
his bed I said firmly
That is not a toy

He looked up and said
I have heard that
before. Who makes
these notatoys?

Give it to me I said
and I’ll tell you. And
he gave it to me point
first and I told him

It is not a toy I said
because it is too boring
for a child’s amusement
As long as you are little

You will play with
isatoys because they
are full of thoughts
and not boring.

And that’s how a kid
made me an adult
for whom everything
isatoy but don’t tell.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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