A Closed Encounter

Inside the empty Toys-R-Us, I think of all the children
Like mine, who once passed through this store.
The strange thing about retail
Is just how vilified it is, while still remembered fondly.
What was once true of General Stores,
Was later true of Woolworth’s, and of Sears:
They aren’t commercial enterprises to us
So much as memories of how we felt in shopping there.

When I was a kid, the Sears and Penneys catalogues were big.
My favorite catalogue, though,
Was from a place called Miles Kimball (It’s still out there)
Which was a work of art. We scanned each page,
And read the stories there within.

How many stories, though, of children’s dreams
This place has held. I walk around the empty room,
Feeling not commercialism, or materialism, but imagination:
For it is the life a child puts into a toy
That makes it what it is, or can be.

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