My Son's Room

the Teddy bear, that one-eyed family retainer
still sits atop the proud brass clock
by the tattered graduation cap, the tackle-box
that opens with a creak, the rocking chair
that squeaks, your first pair of glasses
folded like a lotus

the jack-in-the-box that gave you
tiny heart attacks the pick-up-sticks
the valentines in reds and pinks
the comb you stole from you-know-who
and wished you’d given back to her
you got your kiss regardless in the spring

the cartoon heads that gave you pez
the powdered candy sands of cherry
lemon lime and tangerine
tumble into autumn’s air
turn to ash
and all fall down

Thanksgiving turkeys made from pudgy fingers
drawn from pudgy hands
the octopus of earthenware
from summer camp
a ceramic turtle marches to the end of land

the stained piano sheets
with notes you used to play that rose
and shattered like the winter

the little wristwatch
melting into the table near the place
where your lovely head had slept

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About the Author

Matt Landig, a former WCDH resident, recently completed a short play "The Fat Trap and Five Stars", a series of comic monologues based on Yelp reviews. His piece "Downward Facing What?" won an honorable mention in this year's Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. His prize-winning poem "Emotional Support Pig: A Love Story" appears in the 2022 anthologu "Stories That Need to Be Told" (available on Amazon). His short story "Tummy", a contest finalist, has been analyzed in college courses.