Toys at the Edge of the Room- Richard King Perkins III

He was not a monster 
but could imitate one so realistically 
that the uninitiated could not tell the difference— 
and now his act begins again,
stomping around the center of the toy room 
destroying anything in his path: 
the dinosaur models he’d helped assemble and paint, 
the slot car track he’d pieced together 
and repaired on other days, 
the identities and unmarred surfaces 
of the children he helped imagine into being. 
Only the toys at the edge of the room 
had gone unnoticed. 

The eldest boy might be seven or eight-years-old 
and sits petrified, eyes turned always downward or away, 
kneeling amidst brokenness and bruises 
trying to hold back the cries of the inconsolable 
if only for the benefit of the younger two; 
so he begins breathing deeply, finding composure, 
throwing his mind into a distant future 
where he can write about this 
as a man beyond the reach of such dire shadows 
as a man much older than the figure now before him 
and as man who cannot forget the boy’s amazement— 
watching discreetly as the father builds a cemetery 
inside an amusement park