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Clade Song 13

Toys in the Head of a Seven-Year-Old

My toy dog Jasper toys
with the torture of a long
fuzzy snout. The face
wrinkles and it growls,
with no room for anything

except my toy love.
And see, there’s no place
to put it, unlike, say, my dog
Rawlings. I fill him up

and he never runs out.
Toy pets are stupid,
though my father wishes
Rawlings was one.

I tell him a toy dog
is not a real dog.
Neither is a toy car.
Almost anything comes
as a toy. I think about
a toy mother. A toy god—

My dad says a toy dog
wouldn’t chase cars
and get run over,
make me cry
like Rawlings did.

I wonder about the toys
in my head. Will they
ever get their own kids?
Also, my dad says that life
is just a game. So isn’t
everything just a stupid toy?


Bobby Parrott is radioactive, but for how long? This poet's epiphany concerns the intentions of trees, and now his poems enliven dreamy portals such as Tilted House, Rumble Fish Quarterly, Rabid Oak, Exacting Clam, Neologism, and elsewhere. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with his house plant Zebrina and his hyper-quantum robotic assistant Nordstrom.