A Barricade, a Bear, and an Egg

We’re headed to my in-laws’ house, or perhaps the Jersey shore. A family road trip. My husband is at the wheel; our daughters in the back seat. They hold their beloved stuffed animals on their laps. There are no headphones or cell phones. In our future, when they’re older, there will be both. I’ll tune the radio to NPR. We’ll hear the election news or listen to an interview with actor Dev Patel. But here, now, I put a CD into the dashboard slot. The prologue begins, “Look down, look down, don’t look ‘em in the eye.” My husband would be happy never to hear Les Misérables again, but I don’t mind hearing it for the 200th time. Our daughters sing along. Correction. Humpty and Ahh Bear sing along. Aah Bear sings Éponine’s part and sobs with loud bear sobs when she dies. There is no barricade here in the car, but I see it nonetheless. Imagination is powerful, powerful enough to let me hear stuffed animals sing and make the tears of a teddy bear real.

 

Just one performance

life, replayed in memory,

paused and played again

 

 

 

I seem to be stuck on musicals, though that’s nothing new!  This is a haibun for dVerse. We were asked to write about singing along with music on a drive. You can listen to “A Little Fall of Rain” here. (Unfortunately, not the Humpty and Ahh Bear version.)

 

 

NaPoWriMo: Memories of Childhood Not My Own

The Egg and Bear sit side-by-side

conversing, no doubt, as best friends do.

They laugh and joke

and vanish to a secret site

though they remain in plain view

because that’s what Eggs and Bears do–

at least those of the stuffed kind.

 

This pair, companions, though three years apart,

once sang and talked at family dinners—

six of us at the table–

my husband, two daughters,

Humpty, Ahh Bear, and me.

They told us of their days in school, of being bullied by Carlie

(a bad egg through and through)

They were a bit uncool, the Egg and Bear, but nonetheless, endearing.

 

Is it odd that I remember their songs?

“Mrs. Mommy Goddess Protector,”

my favorite, of course.

I always felt a bit sorry for people

who didn’t have real stuffed friends,

not a Velveteen Rabbit story—

but truly real from the start.

 

Family car rides were never dull.

We tuned in the Egg and Bear radio station

and listened to Humpty and Ahh Bear

sing along to Les Miserables,

Ahh Bear cried as he sang Éponine’s

part in “A Little Fall of Rain”

and Humpty channeled Jean Valjean.

 

Well, we may have rocked with laughter

it’s true–

but still, a memory to be cherished

held close within my heart

as are these friends

who two little girls

took to the seashore

and later to college dorms.

 

No, they’re not forgotten, the Egg and Bear

though their voices are now

seldom heard aloud:

“Take it, Humps.” “OK, Ahhbs.”

In my head, I can hear their voices still

and memories of childhood, my children’s,

not my own, transport me for a moment to the past.

 

The Egg and Bear sit side-by-side,

forever in my mind.

 

NaPoWriMo, Day 18   Today’s Prompt: “a poem that incorporates ‘the sound of home’.”

I  wrote a free verse poem, using the Secret Keeper’s Weekly Writing prompt  Words: Plain/Laugh/Site/Rock/Secret