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The Boy in the Box

I put you in a box the other day.
I put you in a box inside my head.
I heard people do that with bad memories.
I wasn’t quite sure how it would work,
But it was easy in the end.
I covered the outside with things I think
You like, so that you’d be happy in there.
The problem is, I don’t really know anything about you,
So I selected from photos you’d sent,
Of your nephew,
Of your friends,
Of the one day we were together in Rome.
But I’m afraid
I had to blur your face,
As I needed to forget
You.

I made sure they were pressed carefully,
Collaged, over the outsides
Over the rectangular rim.
Oddly, the paper bulged out a little,
As if stuck by cheap pritstick and the corners were not sharp.
I made the box quite small,
To more easily put it in the back of my mind,
And you (my dear) were correspondingly little to fit into it.

I had to pick you up in my large, soft hands,
And wrap you in a blanket, beige,
Right up to your neck.
Fitting, perhaps, as it is only your face
I remember.  I placed you softly inside,
With a cushion and a lamp and a book.
You were smiling, I promise.

I put on the lid, correspondingly collaged
With the same three photographs,
And wasn’t sure what to do next.
I think I peeked inside to see that you were alright.
And then wrapped my whole creation in brown paper,
To seal it up, to cover it completely.
I lifted it gently over to the wall in the room
In my mind,
Took a step back,
And felt my missing you subside.

I turned off the light,
And closed the door behind me,
Leaving you in darkness.
As I walked away, vines grew
Over the entrance to that far corner of my brain,
And moss spread, great creepers wound around it
And birds, colourful and singing, perched.
I knew that I would probably never find it again,
In all that
Vastness,
Through all those leaves and clutching tendrils.
I decided that was a good thing.

And now whenever I think of you, you are mute,
And warm,
In a box in a room at the end of my mind.
And that makes me happier.



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