Anderson Council



To hear an audio version of this poem & others visit here;
It all started with a tea-set.

Life is a mirror of those games I used to play with my dolls, bears and demons,
The cups were full of invisible liquid and the conversation was one-sided at best.

Not much has changed.

I found a note I posted to myself when I was 5,
It simply read, ‘Who’s listening?’

It all started with a tea-set or did I already feel that way?

My friends and family are just silent playthings as before; dolls, bears and demons.
One battered Gollywog and two ambiguous, porcelain husks of rosy cheeked Americana.

Golly, Winsome and June.

Days spent sipping on pot brewed imagination giving no credence to adult gazes,
Sustenance granted through unmoving lips and lifeless eyes but sustenance nonetheless.

Parents strip away fantasies with raised voices.

I found my dolls, bears and demons the other day, they were in an old satchel under the bed,
I sat them on the edge of our bed and heard our children playing outside.

Everything has changed.

I looked into the glass eyes and buttons and remembered the sounds of my childhood,
I felt my hand become smaller like a child’s as the mnemonics did their work.

Relics of a forgotten afternoon.

My children can’t understand why I left them, my wife thinks I am immature,
I pour the invisible tea and wait for my old friends to talk to me.

It all started with a tea set.
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