Brown Bear presides
over a bed of solemn animals–
little blond bears, an elephant, a whale and
creatures of unspecified species:
Rainbow Bright, Tweety Bird, Pink Popples.
Blueberry Baboon grabs
the headboard with velcroed hands.
“I couldn’t leave,” he says.
“How would I find my way home?”
in the closet, a blue sparkled prom dress
clings to its hanger by one thin strap.
on the bookshelf, music boxes
crowd together for company.
No “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” tonight.
Her scent lingers: Candle wax
and watermelon bubble gum.
Shafts of sunlit dust float
from empty drawers like ghosts.
Brown Bear whispers:
“Buck up. She’ll be back.”
But he doesn’t promise things
will ever be the same.
Betty Ruddy is an essay writer whose work has twice been included in “Best American Essays” list of Notable Essays. Her essays have appeared in “Fourth Genre,” “The Journal” and “Brain, Child.” She has an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars and lives in the beautiful Northwest corner of Connecticut.