I was nine years old
When my parents cleaned out the house.
Divorce, it was time to move.
I was sitting on the front porch steps,
(The ones that had been washed so many times
By spring thunderstorm rain while we watched,
Safe under the roof in lawn chairs)
I caught the crooked eye of a derelict teddy bear
Positioned haphazardly on a bulk of trash;
It’s mouth halfway unstitched, it’s nose broken.
Though it was alive I’d never seen it before.
(How could I miss it? All of mine were
Individually named, with back stories and
Regularly scheduled hugging.)
I snuck the teddy bear up to my room.
We cried together, me out of pity,
He, out of fear, until I named him,
And added him to the hugging rotation.
(My therapist, so far removed but
So far in my head, would say: “Do you
Think you found yourself that day?”)