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Drive South for Toytown

Past the magistrates court

its concrete slabs gray with commandments,

the office block where you worked

for twenty six years with Mervyn and

his reptilian jokes and overweight Brenda leaving

lipstick smears on chipped crockery


Past wrong turns, two divorces

both somehow grotesque copies of a whiskey

fumed father and a crimson-fingernailed

mother screaming at each other in Yiddish


Past the hi-protein diets, your biceps and abs

swelling in ironing-board emulation of

Charles Atlas possessor of the World’s Most

Perfectly Developed Body and Clark Kent getting

undressed in a telephone booth with Captain Marvel

somewhere shouting Shazam through parting clouds


Past Lil Abner, Dagwood Bumstead, Acne Rosacea,

your first date with Joyce Rosenblum, her kiss

smelling of egg sandwiches, past forbidden

glossy magazines, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Fanny

Hill, hidden in a cardboard carton under the bed


Pedal faster now Noddy, feet flying, you’re

almost there.  Toot-toot you shout, climbing the

yellow ladder up to a whizzing bumpy slide,

pushing your eager body on a wooden-seated swing,

chains squealing as you fly higher, higher towards

bird-topped trees, finally letting go of all those

fearful, confusing memories and sailing off

into the endless sky over Toytown

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© Johnmichael Simon



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