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Remember when we did as we pleased?
Now we’re wrinkled, gray, and diseased
With Rage that crushes any caring heart,
And drops us low to our knees—
There is no succor or understanding
For respite or for relief for any parents’ pleas.
Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness
Into that snare of ever wrong turns?
To put down hard roots
Into a never loved land,
Grasping, with our heart that burns—
Another lost kite strung over a high tree,
Another lost thing we swore to safe keep—
Living a clueless life beyond what we hear or see;
As now I lay me down to sleep?

–Amberly Alexis Barnett’s body was found in an undisclosed location early Saturday morning hours after authorities began searching for the 11-year-old, who was last seen at her aunt’s house in Mt. Vernon, Ala.

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Do You Mean Me?

Are those soft words meant for me?
Is it now safe to settle into tranquility?
Icy rains ahead on roads fog-wrapped
Fleeing a love wherein I was once trapped.
Twelfth Night revelers muster at the Carrollton barn
Their annual trek to recover their childhood yarn:

Hey, throw me something mister!
Hey, don’t look that way at my sister!
Meet me at The Avenue and Seventh
Of course! Bring your cousin Kenneth!
Doubloons, cups, beads, catch the daylight;
Oh baby, kiss me good; sweetie, hug me tight.

And so Hump Day with ashes full arrives
And recriminations cut with dull knives—
I only kissed her once on a day care forgot.
We’re done, that’s it, you’d rather not—
Why is life in the thirties so stupid?
Aren’t we adults, who killed Cupid?

Why do we think ourselves
Into such boxes of darkness,
Into that snare of wrong turns;
To put down hard roots
Into a newer unloved land;
Grasping, weak and missing—
Another lost kite string over the hedge;
Another lost thing we swore to keep;
Living a clueless life over the edge
As now I lay me down to sleep?

Are those soft words meant for me?
Is it now safe to settle into tranquility?
Diseases and ruin now arrive to drag us back home.
My armor was never silver but warehouse chrome.
O, to die in Ashland, intox’ed by her clackety-clack.
Just to home return, but you can never ever go back.

Toymaker! Toymaker!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please make me a car!
Make it go fast!
Make it go far!
Paint it hot red
With racing stripes of blue;
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
All the kids love you!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please make me a dolly!
Something to take to granny’s
When we go on the trolley!
Make her with a pretty dress,
Something in silver and gold;
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I ALWAYS do as I’m told!

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Make me a kite!
Make it fly high,
Clean out of sight!
Can it have a long tail?
Will it spin in the sky?
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I’ll let sister have a try.

Toymaker! Toymaker!
Please tell us true—
What is your favorite toy:
Izit a horsey or a cow that goes moo?
What do you make
When freeing your wiles?
Yes, Mr Toymaker,
I do see all those kids smiles!