Poems & Essays

30 Dec

Midnight in the Plastic Garden

General/Column 5 Responses

How strange to find myself
alone in this playroom at night, 
its walls painted black
by the moonless sky. 

I stoop to collect cars,
frozen in mid-play,
these plastic trinkets and me 
cracked open by the hands of time. 

I will grow older, withstand the crumbling
of this house under my feet
and the deepening furrow
in my brow. 
I will endure the dull blade

of my children’s vanishing youth. 

With each new nick
I scramble to patch the hole in our bubble,
paste glossy photos and stick-figure drawings
into baby books. 
As if I could restrain time with just tape
and a piece of paper. 

But this plastic garden that swells and shrinks
and will one day lay fallow for good,
holds more of us
than the glut of memories in my closet. 

Sweet dreams, little red fire truck 
asleep on your side. 

Tonight, I will let you be. 

Lisa Ferrazzano is a linguist, Italian instructor, and writer. Her work has appeared in Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home and Literary Mama. Lisa’s essays and poetry center around her favorite job of all times, being a mom. 

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  1. Leah Johnson

    December 30, 2019 at 5:31 pm

    Liza- This just about broke my heart, reminding me of my own son, now a firefighter and police officer, who used to fall asleep with his little red firetruck in his hand. Thank you.

    • Lisa

      December 30, 2019 at 11:27 pm

      I am so glad that my poem resonated with you. That image of your son falling asleep with his firetruck is so powerful. I wrote this poem when my kids were little–they are now tweens and teens and our floor is no longer littered with toys, but homework and headphones and iPads. Watching our kids grow into (young) adults is a beautiful but heart-wrenching enterprise, isn’t it? But so worth it:)
      Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. Jen

    December 31, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Oh Lisa. One million times yes. It was just yesterday and one hundred years ago all at once. You pulled this memory from my bones. xo!

    • Lisa

      January 1, 2020 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you, Jen. It means so much to know that my writing connects with people!

  3. Shelly Reisig

    January 9, 2020 at 6:13 am

    It is all so consuming and so fleeting. Our little people breath such life into the insignificant (even plastic) items surrounding us. Thanks for this beautiful poem.


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