Tuesday 7 January 2020

Twisted Toys

by Nick Gisburne

It squats in the alley, forgotten and lost
Where no careless footstep may tread
The grime of its windows, a filth-tainted frost
Obscures every dust-covered head

A place where the lonely, the loveless, are tossed
This parlour of disfigured toys
May sell you a secret, but high is the cost
To innocent girls and young boys

Mephisto, the bloated and mange-ridden bear
Grips tightly the skull of a cat
Long fingers bend, crooked and tangled with hair
His face is twice-broken and flat

Adenka and Olga both whimper and weep
Conjoined by their faces and knees
They long to be free but their stitches are deep
Their tiny teeth ache with disease

And Gorgo, the mannequin, stares into space
With eyes melted out long ago
Two plastic tears, rivers of hurt, scar his face
He cries with a pain none can know

The clockwork doll, Valda, remembers the way
They pulled her old innards apart
And now as the chimes mark the hour of the day
She pushes a spike through her heart

Balola, the rag doll, has seventeen eyes
But each one is useless and blind
She hangs from a noose and has learned to despise
The memories mocking her mind

Old Aldous, the rabbit, has charcoal-black stumps
Where each of his limbs were burned off
He chews his own stuffing, licks ash from the stumps
And chokes with a cancerous cough

The unicorn, Keeka, is slit front to back
And stuffed with old rubbish and dirt
They ripped off her horn in a savage attack
Her heart will not heal from the hurt

The body beside them, the baby, is real
But someone grew tired of this toy
Young Sophie won’t run, she won’t laugh, she won’t feel
A murderer stamped on her joy

It squats in the alley, forgotten and lost
Where no careless footstep may tread
The toy shop sells secrets, but high is their cost
For the twisted, the broken, the dead