[If I suggest a toy for you to play with]

posted Jun 23, 2015

If I suggest a toy for you to play with,
close your eyes and choose from the chest.
Be the boy with the hoop, the girl with the yo-yo.
Your chosen treasure will ward off monotony.

Day's not a sieve; it's an altar. You have to sacrifice
the toys of your youth. Toy piano, toy poodle,
toy train. When building a fort, half the fun
comes from destroying your creation.

Rubber duck, paddle ball. With your toy camera, capture
the local girls standing on their heads. We call this game
estrangement; upside down, everything's made to seem odd.
Let the balloon go: it floats to the ground.

Let the infant clutch your finger, she'll hang on
'til she goes down. To grasp blindly is to love.
Everyone knows how the whistle works: purse your lips
and blow. Everyone knows the core of the balloon is air.

Jennifer Moore is the author of The Veronica Maneuver (forthcoming, The University of Akron Press), and What the Spigot Said (High5 Press). Poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Best New Poets, Columbia Poetry Review, Barrow Street and elsewhere, and criticism and reviews in Jacket2, Spoke Too Soon, and The Offending Adam. A native of the Seattle area, Jennifer is an assistant professor of creative writing at Ohio Northern University and lives in Defiance, Ohio.

We’ve published two more poems by Moore: “[A wolf carved a hole of a web]” and “[You are a pool of oil].”