Desire - Poem by Max Reif
Audrey played in the sandbox,
Alone with a red, plastic fish.
Ryan grabbed it to take it away,
Wanting to play with it, too,
And neither child would even consider
The blue plastic fish that lay nearby,
Right in the same sandbox.
I told them, 'You'll have to take turns,
Five minutes each with the red plastic fish.
I'll start keeping track on my watch.'
The next question to answer, of course:
Who would get the fish first?
Few small children ever want to go second,
There's only one time, and that's 'Now'.
I told Audrey, 'You've had it already
For quite a long, long time,
And now it's time to give Ryan his turn.
Five minutes won't be a long wait.'
She threw herself face down on the sand
As soon as I gave him the fish,
Weeping and wailing like someone bereft
Until his 5 minutes were up.
As soon as the fish was back in her hands,
Audrey cooed, eyes dilated in bliss.
She put the fish in a bright blue bucket
Of water, and lovingly fed it sand.
Ryan was happily distracted,
So I said nothing at all
Until ten minutes later, when he walked up
And asked me, 'Hey, where's my fish? '
Again Audrey dissolved in tears
As soon as the fish was gone,
Beating her fists and mourning until
It safely returned to her pail.
That was the way it went the whole morning.
I could neither disturb Audrey's fish heaven,
Nor relieve her time in hell.
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