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Recipe

By Mischelle Anthony

Recipe

Nothing could break the silence

of that room: toys random on the sky-blue

yarny pile, Snoopy train, Strawberry

Shortcake fold-out garden patch,

 

abandoned View Master, and my go-

to, Stretch Armstrong.  Remember him?

No Ken-style bump between his thighs. 

Pull him off the chalky shelf,

 

shoved against the Little Golden

books your cousin Todd tore through

with Fisher Price picnic knives.

Poor Poky Little Puppy and

Saggy Baggy Elephant.

 

Don’t get distracted.

Fall to your knees, flip dear

Stretch upside down, and pull

as hard as your ten-year-old arms

 

can go.  The day I heard a rip and

saw the grainy underneath the silly

putty surface, the blue-walled bedroom

and white flounced spreads, spiders,

 

even Mom’s crocheted poodle froze.

They needn’t have worried.

I knew what to do.  Shut

the walk-in closet door, the breeze

 

your grandmother’s Estée Lauder

scent, clothes crackling on the rod

for years.  Face the laundry

basket on your knees.  Plunge

 

the muscled doll down

in—duck rubber, smashed

bear, little engine that could.

Then stir—leave one tanned arm out

 

waving.  Don’t forget his orange

swimsuit.  Let the swollen plastic

webbing shine its midnight

blue.  Rehearse what you have

learned from every woman

in your life: Bury it.