They tend to disappear and then re-
appear, incarnated by the children into
whips or nooses,
hand- or ankle cuffs.
Clumping laceless around her house she sees the
evidence everywhere: wide-eyed dolls
beaten into surrender, a satin horse
dangling from a doorknob
by its slender neck.

Gentler lives
emerge sometimes –
a ribbon for a stuffed cat,
a ponytail holder for a curly-haired girl.
Rawhide threaded with
colored beads becomes a necklace.

Still, in dark moments it’s the
arsenal that she returns to.
Stop this, she tells them, as the
whip flails and the noose seeks a victim.
No, they say, it’s too much fun.
Their laughter, another sort of weapon,
hangs in the air.

One comment

  1. Sam · May 28, 2009

    Children can be such little Sadists, can’t they? Sometimes I am deeply disturbed by the satin horses and other stuffed animals I find tortuously bound and dangling from doorknobs by their slender necks. Then again, I’d much prefer that my son unleash his cruelty on stuffed animals than on his little sister.


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