Playdough

by Nay Joshua

This poem was published in the Apr. 2019 edition of Live Ideas. View it HERE.

You taught me to be Thing.

Ball and cube. Coat rack and table.

Without your hand, I didn’t know a purpose.

You taught me to be Thing.

Brainless and void. Voiceless and obedient.

Without your guidance, I didn’t know capability.

 

You commanded my skin to be elastic.

“Hold my worry inwards,” you told me

And I never let you feel the strain.

You commanded my skin to be squishy.

“Cave to my whims,” you told me

 And I never resisted your dreams for my life.

 

Then you got new toys that smelled crisp like lemon disinfectant.

Obviously, you grew tired of my soft lingering vanilla.

So you replaced me.

Then you left me on the floor to mix with crusting vomit stains.

Clearly, my soft sugar scent couldn’t cut through the pungent citrus.

So I wasn’t enough to get your attention back.

 

But eventually, I will find my packaging

Learn that tartar could become arms

And reach for flour and oil.

And eventually, I will find water and salt

Form long feet and walk away

Then cover my head in flour and dye

 

I will command my skin to be elastic.

“Let go of doubt” I’ll say

And you’ll never feel their weight again.

I will command my skin to be squishy.

“Create new aspirations” I’ll say

And you’ll never be lost again.

 

You taught me I am versatile.

I can become indestructible, hard like diamond.

I can become smooth, soft like feathers.

You taught me I am everything and nothing.

I can become hollow and absorb knowledge.

I can become anything and be better than you.

 


Playdough 04762” by Nevit Dilmen is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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