Robert Aquinas McNally


It was your idea, putting them away,
tucking the outgrown toys into the far
corner of the closet under the stairs
where ceiling angles down to floor. Weeks came
and went, then that day you dove in, dragged
the buried into light and open, ran slow
fingertips over their play-worn skins, like
the blind scanning brailled Shakespeare, asked me
when and how you had played with them: post
and fitted rings of primary color, yellow
Tonka, red Etch-a-Sketch, blocks made big
for small square hands and brightly lettered.
Once you had held the story of each, you
hid them all away again, emerging
empty-handed from the closet. You looked
to be someone new: a boy beginning
a man and, like me, losing a child.