you inhabit my earliest memories, Teddy:
an echo of solace and reassurance
you came into the world naked;
wrapped now in the red granny knitted for you
to cover up a shame you never felt,
and as our realm filled with adventure you became
a viking warrior,
a pirate slave,
a tyrant king,
a crusher of worlds,
ripe with promise
then i embarked on more solitary escapades;
you heard me rehearse macduff, falstaff, the player king,
still searching for some higher self,
yearning for the less mundane
you heard the awed confession of my first kiss
and lay awake with me as it played like a fugue in my mind.
but later, when she left, somehow you could not fill the void;
i needed more than your silence to speak
to my stories of unrequited love.
do you remember all their names, Teddy?
When the last notes from my guitar begin to fade,
do their sombre spectres linger in your darkness too?
and when i left home, you joined me –
our lives so intertwined, how could you not?
but for years you never left that box,
faithfully stowed in a dozen dusty cupboards
in a dozen lonely rooms.
it may be that, dimly through the dark,
you heard me break apart
and find a way to reconstruct
a sort of self-mending humpty dumpty,
never quite finding all the pieces
and now you sit in my boy’s toybox,
lost amid a clutter of broken cars and abandoned kittens;
i had hoped that he would find a way to love you,
that perhaps he, too, might find comfort in clinging,
but it seems he never will
perhaps he knows what i never did, Teddy:
that there is neither warmth nor ease in all our yesterdays;
and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
will be filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing
perhaps he sees you like i never could, Teddy;
perhaps he turns away because he cannot bear
to see the universe stare back with impassive button eyes