Goodbye, Toys R’ Us

The squeals of glee are now silent
The shelves are bare of games and toys.
The patter of small feet are an echo,
Gone is the laughter of girls and boys.

I was once the staple place
of a parent and child’s day of fun.
I soon will exist as only a memory
shared between parent and daughter or son.

I was the center of Christmas hoopla.
My parking lot was always filled.
“This is just what I’ve always wanted!”
those little kid customers trilled.

I watched those parents smile
to see their children so full of joy,
to feel their little arms around their legs
for buying them that one special toy.

“Thank you, thank you so much!
I love you Mama, I love you Dad!”
always brought a smile to my face,
even when business days were bad.

I’ve been around for sixty years.
I’ve watched many children grow.
I’ve seen new generations,
and new fads of toys that come and go.

Parties can only last so long.
Sooner or later, they come to an end.
I bid you farewell, kids past, present, and future.
I was happy to be your friend.

Thank you for our childhoods, Toys R’ Us.

My favorite memory was taking my daughter there for the first time, with my first paycheck when I could finally afford it. She picked out a pink elephant toy, and then threw her arms around me in the checkout line and said ‘Ank u Mama, Love you.”

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Her last curtain call

Her last curtain call

I spent the early adult years of my life
being a mother and a loving wife.
I cooked, I cleaned, I kept house.
It was all I’d ever wanted.

With my husband at my side,
I sat in the audience,
Transfixed by the lights and the actor onstage.
Imagining myself dancing, singing up there.
It was all I’d ever wanted.

My family, they were no longer enough.
I began to dream of fortune and fame,
dream of the bright lights surrounding my name.
I thought of myself beside that actor,
warm in a bed we would share.
It was all I’d ever wanted.

I went to the stage to try my hand.
They thought my face pretty, my figure grand.
I was still young, far too young to waste my life
staying at home as no more than a wife.
They put me in a performance.
It was all I’d ever wanted.

The money came in,
the show was a smash.
The price was being away from my family.
Sometimes whole months would go by
My husband would write me. Our children would cry
Wishing I was home, but I told him
I could buy them all they’d ever wanted.

Another show hired me.
My actor would star alongside me
He took interest in my pretty face and my youth.
I was hypnotized by his gorgeous brown eyes.
And I forgot my life back home.
I was a different girl. Single. Alone.
He was all I’d ever wanted.

My husband discovered my affair.
Betrayed and hurt, he filed for divorce, but I didn’t care.
He took our children, went to another state.
In a note he left behind, he wrote,
“We didn’t leave you. You left us.”
This wasn’t what I’d wanted.

Moving pictures came along.
My career couldn’t keep up.
I had a face for the stage, but not for the movies.
My actor, he left me to go across the country,
to some golden place called Hollywood.
I wished I could follow.
It was all I’d ever wanted.

I used the last of my money to go back to my flat
that I’d once shared with my husband and children.
I sit here now, alone in my house.
It’s been over a year since I’ve seen my children, my ex-spouse.
None of them will see me. I hurt them so bad.
I’d already had it all. The love of my children, my honey.
I didn’t need the fame or the money.
Only now do I realize,
They were all I’d ever wanted.

If you’re never satisfied with what you already have,
if you don’t stop reaching for what you can’t grab,
what you think you want could be your very ruin.
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

~Abandoned performance theater, Troy, NY.

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The Tower of Failure

The Tower of Failure
~A.F. Lamonte~

They built me so they could touch the sky.
So they could feel like kings in castles high,
Sitting on their thrones, looking at the world below,
watching people scurry like ants to and fro.

The aggressive pursuit of their endeavors,
Made their money well run dry, and they left forever.
Ever since, I’ve stood alone, through rain, wind, and snow.
I’ve seen time come and I’ve seen time go.

My empty rooms are such a waste,
I’m a vandal’s canvas, frequently defaced.
One day I’m sure, my bricks will tumble.
Just like the ambition for which I was built, I will crumble.

But for now, I can be seen for miles around,
a statue of failure, of dreams run aground,
a lesson to one and a lesson to all,
that everyone, even the giants, can fall.

~Abandoned Book Tower, 9th tallest building in Detroit. Built 1916, completed 1926, abandoned permanently in 2009. Purchased by a real-estate firm in 2015 with plans for renovation.

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The Overgrown Backyard

Once upon a time kids played back here.
Once upon a time a dog played fetch.
You can almost still hear kids’ laughter,
or the bouncing of the ball they’d catch.

Now the children are grown and gone.
The dog’s been dead for years.
The only thing that visits the yard
are a few wandering deer.

Once upon a time there was a nice garden,
Once upon a time, a swing was tied to a tree.
Now the garden is overgrown with weeds
as far as the eye can see.

The old woman looks out at her barren backyard
remembering the days gone by,
as she sits in her rocking chair on the back porch
Amazed at how fast time flies.

She pictures her late husband building that fence
which now lies in a heap on the ground.
She pictures the days of laughter and play
when her children were all still around.

The only thing that makes her smile
is the thought of a young family moving in.
After I’m gone, she thinks to herself,
this yard will be lovely again.

 

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The Animal House of Horrors (and a PSA)

What went on behind my walls
is more than I care to explain.
I still remember screams and yelps
of suffering and pain.

My window eyes saw them come in,
most of them never left.
Behind my doors, I heard
their final cry before their deaths.

Though my closure means
that I will crumble to the ground,
I’m no longer the site of misery,
and I’m glad they shut me down.

~~~
Abandoned Litchfield Animal Center in Litchfield, Staffordshire. I will spare you the article I read that provided the information on this building, but it the urban explorers that came in described it as evidence of a former house of horrors.

A gentle reminder this holiday season that if you are considering pets as gifts for yourself or relatives or friends, please make sure that you understand they are a commitment for as long as their life allows, which could be up to 15+ years. Times do get hard, and it’s very difficult to plan 15 years into the future. Things do happen. But in this case, please try to have a plan in place. This is not for people who, through no fault of their own, intended to keep their pet throughout its life and then had unfortunate circumstances befall them. This is for people who bring in animals as a hobby, get tired of them, and then think that they can just drop them off at a shelter somewhere or open their door and turn them loose when they are done with them. Those people I wish would just skip out on getting a pet and buy a stuffed animal instead.

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The Partridge in the Pear Tree

The Partridge in the Pear Tree
~A.F. Lamonte

December 13th

Dear diary,
I’m not sure if the one I call true love hates me or loves me, but today he presented me with the strangest thing. There was this live partridge sitting in a small pear tree in a cage on my porch, with a tag that read “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree.”
First of all, it’s not even Christmas yet. There are still twelve days to go.
Second of all, I told him specifically I did NOT want any pets. They aren’t even allowed at my apartment.
Just WHAT am I supposed to do with this bird? AND what should I do with this pear tree? I’m not exactly a green thumb. This thing is going to die in a week. And the bird seems to hate me. I’m not good with animals either. I did try to be nice to it, but the first thing it did was bite me.
Oh, diary, what am I going to do?
That dratted pigeon or whatever it is is chirping up a storm now. I guess I better go feed it. What do they even eat?

They’ll come back

They’ll come back again I’m sure.
They’ll come back and open my door.
They locked me up, they cleared out my aisles,
And they’ve been gone a long, long while.
But I’ll be relevant once more.
And they’ll come back again. I’m sure.

RIP to the CompUSA on Division. I’ve been out of Spokane for 10 years, so if it’s been closed a while, I didn’t know until just today. We used to visit this very store all the time and play on the computers in the kids’ center. This was a fun place. Sad to see it’s gone.

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