It is a graveyard for lost toys
abandoned by their girls and boys—
objects of fun once ordinary,
spurned by children who are wary
of things on which to soar and slide,
of toys that draw a kid outside.
Once solely meant for entertainment,
they’re now fenced in for their containment
away from children set aside,
away from things to climb or ride
with other kids bare-faced, unmasked.
Now all are differently tasked.
Now housebound children stare at screens
or sit leafing through magazines.
Monkey bars, it is official,
turned into things more beneficial:
fences, barricades or bars
marking parking spots for cars.
But teeter-totters, slides and swings—
a community of cast-off things—
lie here abandoned in a place
that’s never seen a child’s face.
It is a junkyard overgrown
of pleasures that now go unknown.
The raucous crew for which they’re cast
has become a memory of the past.
Hordes of kids on jungle gyms
pursuing their communal whims
are things that they barely remember.
Leaf piles jumped on in September
neatly raked up in their heaps
are safe from children’s messy leaps.
Every child kept in their room,
the world outside would seal their doom.
So, junkyards filled with these diversions
are museums for today’s aversions.
One by one, the kids grow older
never getting one bit bolder.
Contained inside their separate lives,
Single cells replace their hives.
While hidden from this lonely crew
are all the things we used to do.
Remember when the school bell rang?
Kit and caboodle, the whole gang
would rush to see who got the swings.
What nostalgia their memory brings.
I remember them so well,
but especially the carousel.