toy aisle at Target

I am not paralyzed
by sadness anymore 
as I roam the toy aisle 
at Target

I want you to know 
it gets better 
(and then it gets a little worse, but then 
it gets better again. 
and that’s just before breakfast. 
You get the idea). 

on the eve of his 21st birthday
I am not buying my firstborn 
a six pack
or promising 
to pick him up 
from a bar 
with his bleary eyed friends 

I am here 
in this toy aisle I know so well 
my eyes scanning rows 
of Lightning McQeens 
and Maters
until I spot a flash of bright yellow 
And yelp with joy 
as I unearth 
Andrew’s beloved 
Cars character 

Cruz Ramirez
will join the others 
an impressive collection 
of Disney Pixar’s finest 
nestled among 
Thomas and all his Friends
enough R2D2s 
to make George Lucas jealous 
and dot markers in all the colors 
(trust me, all of them) 

I am happy
standing here
in the toy aisle at Target 
for the 21st year in a row
as I imagine his giant grin
lighting up his face
his hands
towards space 
unwrapping gifts
that are perfectly him 
that I will buy 
(and again)

and he doesn’t know 
it’s his birthday tomorrow 
and it’s ok
he doesn’t have to 
I do 

I know it enough 
for the both of us

here in the toy aisle
at Target

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