D.W. Moody


THE TOY CASTLE
  

I bear a scar on my shoulder from the barbed wire that caught
as I tried to sneak into the nearby farmer’s field
our neighborhood was a small cul-de-sac of unimaginative similar condos
in a small town surrounded by fields and the open road
somewhere off of 281 and along a bend in the Arkansas
we’d play in the dunes behind the community
or on the abandoned farm equipment in the old lumber yard
we’d play Masters of the Universe with the local boys
who always seemed to have the best He-Man action figures
we’d head down the street
to play in a castle that was just perfect for a young boy’s toy figures
a gift to the boy who owned it from his dad
handmade by his father
with loving patience
who spent day after day
dressed as a clown
before raging bulls
risking life
for cowboys
while others laughed
still
on days off
tired from long days under the hot sun
muscles strained to exhaustion
he made the time to spend with his son
to make something of the time they had
time they both cherished
and what followed from it

it had been more than a year since I had last seen my father
perhaps that was why I bullied him
my younger brother and friends surrounding us
as we argued
over something as inane as the height of a sign
mere pretense to the rage
building within
wanting to explode out at someone at anyone
fists clenched
voice rising over the houses
disturbing the quiet
till tears welled in his eyes




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