35 lb question mark,
3 ft exclamation point,
doesn’t cringe at loud sounds or
pee his bed behind nightmares.
Camryn, my three year-old Sugar
Hill neighbor’s an “Old soul.”
I’m honored that he refers to
me as, “My friend, Raymond.”
Camryn's mommy’s a surgeon, studying
for her boards. His granny’s a history
professor, writing another book. So, I’m
Awarded a Camryn playdate…
Camryn has every truck ever made—
and knows precisely each truck’s function.
He teaches Truck101to anyone in earshot.
He warns work will not begin before his
bright, yellow hardhat’s jammed over jet
black curls. He buckles his tool belt low and
tight. He’s studied styles and moves of the
Working-class; has them down pat.
Camryn creates tasks for each truck, then
Schools me on how the crane of one truck works.
He doesn’t trust me with the trucks.
Blessed, he believes mommy and granny will
Protect him from scary things; feed and
Hydrate him after he plays hard; read
and sing sleepy-time lullabies, enforcing
Peaceful naps as the Sandman invades…
So, I spare Camryn Fractured Fairytales of
Ambulances twisted into burning, bloody metal
hulks; pieces of cloth, shoes, drivers and assistants.
I spare him Fractured Fairytales from Oz—
Natives driving zig-zag routes ‘round a
Frankenstein scar dissecting their homeland;
Land where his trucks would have different
Color license plates and stop at checkpoints
manned by teenaged thugs eager to cast lead…
Traveling Oz by truck, Camryn might see Caterpillars
crunching toys, houses, olive trees, crushing dreams;
He might see fools flying featherless birds shitting
shrapnel and white fire.
He might hear overloaded donkey carts squealing,
Moaning like Mothers of itty-bitty, bloody bodies
piled on them—bodies later stuffed in ice cream freezers,
to slow their rotting; bodies so shredded, even Camryn's
surgeon mommy—couldn’t put their tiny arms, legs and
Heads back together again…
I spare my friend Fractured Fairytales: crushing trucks like his…
Besides being our poet in residence at Black Agenda Report, Raymond Nat Turner is an acclaimed poet and performing artist. Find much more of his work at http://upsurgejazz.com.
Raymond Nat Turner © 2018 All Rights Reserved