Whenever children laugh,
stories stir within the tiny green she bear
peeking out from the grass
at the base of the ginkgo tree.
Here, in Pandora Park.
Years past, her hard plastic body
shielded her from the onslaught
of angry green army men—
the she bear lumbered toward them.
She bellowed outrage as
bullets bounced off her hard plastic shell
and bayonet blades broke.
Chunks of army men litter
her hibernation’s wake.
These days, the she bear sits
camouflaged by grass,
there beneath the ginkgo tree.
Sometimes, she pictures the plastic parts of army men
bulldozed into the baseball diamond
on the other side of Riley Creek.
Those were the days.
Wistful, the she bear waits.
Then, as spring’s first butterflies flutter,
and turtles rise from the muck of Riley Creek,
a child’s hand surrounds the she bear
and whispers fill her ears.
Laughter bubbles through promises
the child can’t wait to keep.
They arrive at Barbie’s Dream House
just in time for tea.