IT WAS ONLY A TOY

a recovery.
saved from an incineration
at the local dump.
mud clotted and tarnished;
plastic woodgrain end mangled.
but there was something there.
he saw it. he always saw it.
it would be different when
he was done molding it to
a new glory. it was only a toy.

a reconstruction.
a wire wheel found its soul;
an oiled rag found its shimmer.
mud, unplugged and liberated,
fated for better things.
a learning experience.
master and apprentice; hands-on.
it would be different when
they were done fighting for
its new glory. it was only a toy.

a manipulation.
hand-crafted and brought to a new light,
a fight for what was good and right.
a father and son searching for
a common foothold; standing abreast together.
one expressed in words; one spoke in woods
both with an eye to an uncertain future.
he looked to the father for the guidance to cope;
the elder looked through a smoky brown bottle to deal.
no glory, it was only a toy.

a presentation.
shiny; newly blued gun barrel, detailed and gleaming.
shiny; freshly carved gun stock, his father’s vision,
a craftsman in artistry; an artist in craftsmanship.
mounted on a placard of equal polish and shine.
and it was all his. they worked it together,
each with a unique vision for a common cause,
amidst applause and a few more draws on the foamy malt,
they shared in its pristine newness; a bond – father and son.
fated in glory, it was only a toy.

a disintegration.
perspective breeds contempt, pubescent and independent,
the son and father, sharing a name and a craftsmanship,
and little else. offspring, impressionable and fragile, a lump of clay
eager to be molded. parent, increasingly cold and inebriate,
escapist artist with a hand at wood, but not clay.
the father becomes the hunter, the son the protector
of all they had shared. slowly being extracted from
his warm and living hands. the bond; the truth and reality.
the alcoholic without glory and a boy with a toy.

a destruction.
shiny; newly blued gun barrel, detailed and gleaming.
shiny; freshly carved gun stock, his father’s vision,
a craftsman’s artistry; two artist’s craftsmanship.
mounted on a placard of equal polish and shine.
the solution to an argument; a physical affront to the abuse
of a mother caught in the cross hairs. a drunken stare
and a lashing out to cause as much pain; as much mutual
destruction. a common bond; a joint effort;
one time glory. it was only a toy.

a devastation.
a project bringing/tearing apart all that was attained
through camaraderie; for an ideal. a father, taking the barrel
between his calloused and smoke scented hands;
swinging for the fences, sending shards of white metal shrapnel
skittering; sending slivers of burnished mahogany into flight.
throwing the shattered remains at my feet. a declaration;
“you are my son. you walk in my steps unfaltering.”
an upheaval. rebellion. a denial of all preached as gospel.
devoid of glory. it was only a toy.

a resentment.
long harboring animus for one so loved and revered.
bonded in a conservative ideal, from opposite sides
of a shared misery. a choice; a road less journeyed.
the son strays to find his way; his voice, his choice
to walk his path. the father grasping at what had always
passed from father to son, somehow undone in this rendition,
and his suspicion lies in the opposition they have assumed.
the old mule and the young pachyderm seeking an open mind,
lost glory. it was only a toy.

a revelation.
scars remain on a heart that had found peace and forgiveness
in the passing of one so loved and revered. the fear of
taking a contrary stand against the old guard long buried
along with whatever hatchet remained. the vision of shattered
dreams and ventures, made somewhat whole. in heart and soul,
father and son again achieve oneness. two men joined in name,
sharing similar styles, from diverse sides of the aisle.
the thoughts stir up a laugh and a smile, all in mutual forgiveness;
a new glory. it was only a toy.
Walt
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