Disposal (a poem of choice & decision)
On the threshold, he stopped him
And the child was told,
“Now don’t run around, or you’ll break something”
“And don’t take forever; we’ve got somewhere to be”
“And if you mess around, you won’t be able to get anything”.
Without waiting for an answer
Because he had them all
Dad pushed the door to the Candy World store
An old timey jangle heralded the
Pavlovian trigger to regress, and recall
Being warned by his parents before pushing the same door.
And like in Big, he became small
He’s himself from then, when
He’s eye height to the counters, adorned with precious pieces of rainbow.
And his eyes swell, gob-stopper big, with a gawp real wide
He’s like a…well, you know…in a (shrug) right?
His attention sucked in all directions
The tumble of thoughts went, ’I want this and this and those and that.
‘Wait! How much time has passed. It can only be seconds, SURELY, when he hears the echo of his own Dad beckon from his own fatherly lips.
Watching his younger self with a spring in his steps
Was He choosing to move his words like this?
“What do you want?” He asked the child
“This and this and those and that”
“We haven’t got time for this, Dad sighed
He was still in this out of body moment
Seeing both child and father and father play out
Feeling his parent autopilot engage, and so…
“Decide,” he said.
“You need to decide”
Did he always sound like this - like HIS dad had done?
He saw his kid(’s) shoulders lift
and drop the kid gloves for heavy duty handlers
and he stood
The words escaped His automatic mouth to re-insist
To look at his wrist
As the trainee disposal expert weighed up what he should cut away
Saw his Wonka world get very small
his eyes get very big
the spring in his step
Become hair trigger to run.
The focus closed in on the package
Of how to avoid explosion.
“What are you having?”
Drops of sweat tumble across the rutted no-child’s-land of his brow, too furrowed for his age
This kind of pressure is well below his pay grade or job description
Cut blue, green, white, soft, hard?
“What do you want?”
‘The easiest path to painless’
Feeling impatience fizz behind, a sourness puckers his dry lips; hunger no longer part of the equation
“You had those last time. You like those. Why don’t you get them?
Beeps, tuts and clicks close in on him…
I’ll have (SFX of swiping things off the table)
And Dad came back to himself
A little scattered by the patterns he has been playing out; said,
Hey. What would you like to get today?”
All the boy could muster was a gesture
“Some of those, and some of those”
“There’s nowhere else we need to be. Let’s get those, and some of those (and throw in some of those for me)
by Paul Sockett, 2023