Boy Toys

erector-set-a - Version 3

Boy Toys

If I were a kid again,
I’d ask for an electric train,
erector sets and building blocks,
a cane to take along on walks
for fending off mean dogs and snakes,
a little oven that really bakes,
decoder rings and magic sets,
ant farms and bug-collecting nets,
a chart for looking up the stars,
paraffin and jelly jars.

The main thing that I’d want, you see,
are more forms of activity:
canvas, paints and wood or clay
to help me pass the time of day.
Instead, adventure came in books–
days spent in armchairs or in nooks
and crannies of our lawn or house,
curled up like a little mouse,
reading of the far-off places,
imaginary deeds and faces.

But I would rather have been doing–
drawing, cutting, building, gluing.
Instead I spent my days in dreams,
filling up my mind with schemes
of what I’d do when I was older–
taller, smarter, braver, bolder.
When we are young, if no one shows us,
takes the trouble to expose us
to the world of creativity,
we may never really see

all the ways that there might be
to set imagination free.
It was plain that an erector set
was not a toy I’d ever get.
With “Hello boys,” written on the front,
the message was both clear and blunt.
Girls did not ask for toys like this.
I had no inkling of what I’d miss.
Creativity was slow to dawn.
For years, I simply played the pawn,

doing what others asked of me,
waiting until I was free
to find a path I’d never seen
caught up in the small town machine.
When I was freed into the world,
a whole new universe unfurled
undivided into  girls or boys.
I finally learned to choose the toys
I really wanted: saws and pliers,
sheets of silver, silver wires,

drill presses and dapping blocks,
glues and solder guns and caulks.
I finally have the toys I want–
not toys to look at or to flaunt,
but toys to make things with and do
–things that help me build anew
each day into whate’er I wish:
a paper lamp, a silver fish.
My story boxes tell the story
of all those years in purgatory

before I learned what else there was
to make my life take off and buzz
with focus and activity–
to fill my days and set me free.
Somehow I just got off the track
before I made my own way back,
but If I did it over again,
I’d ask for that electric train.
Around the track, I’d watch it curl–
a perfect pastime for a girl!!!

The Prompt: Gimmee–Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? If so, what was it?If

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

13 thoughts on “Boy Toys

  1. lifelessons Post author

    Very disappointing that I got up to write my post after only 3 hours of sleep because I had to leave early today and was going to be gone all day…then, it won’t pingback so it isn’t listed on the WordPress site. Is anyone else having this problem? I don’t even think they have any place to report problems anymore, do they?


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Did you hear of anyone else who had these problems, mihrank? Just hope they solve it. It is discouraging to be cut off like this. I fear I’m a bit addicted. Perhaps it is nature’s way of telling me to back off a bit.


  2. alhowlinwater

    When I saw this first posted at around 3pm Pacific time there was another comment that is no longer there! If only one person has commented I often come back several hours later. I so enjoy your blog and the comments. I get to live a vicariously through your artistic chops!


    Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Al. I was so frustrated that it wouldn’t link to the Daily Prompt site that I reposted the post, thinking maybe there was something wrong with the post. So there are actually two postings of exactly the same material. I could erase one, but I would have lost the comments. It’s so frustrating when this happens. In December/January, I couldn’t link for weeks. The result is that unless someone is following me, they have no way to know I’ve posted. If you go to you’ll see both of the twin posts, each with different comments. As though the world isn’t difficult enough. Thanks for reading. It is satisfying to write but also satisfying to have someone read what is written. Judy


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi John. I seem to be able to pingback today, but now people are reporting that all my comments are going into Spam. Do I have a WordPress gremlin? I’ve reported it, thanks to Cee Neuner, but if you notice any more problems, please let me know. You can’t imagine how encouraging it was to have some support and info reported back to me on this issue as it is so frustrating to spend time writing a post and not to be able to get it out to people. This is the fourth time this has happened. I had hoped it would be over after the revamping, but I guess there are glitches in everything. Think Leonard Cohen was able to make a hit song out of the fact! Again, thanks, and please report any future problems…Judy


    2. lifelessons Post author

      Can you now see today’s post, John? Now I’m also having a problem with my comments going into people’s Spam folders, so perhaps you aren’t seeing this, either. xo Judy


    1. lifelessons Post author

      Hi Doran…You are the third person who has reported this…Don’t know what is going on with WordPress. They also won’t accept my pingbacks. Perhaps this is why I’m also going into Spam. Please tell me if it continues to happen. I’ve reported it, thanks to Cee Neuner, who gave me the URL. You don’t know how much I appreciate your help and support. Very generous of you to report this back to me. xo Judy


  3. Pingback: Unrealized Toys | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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