Bait and Switch

This poem springs from my noticing all of our son’s childhood toys in our basement. He was a senior in high school preparing to choose a college. He is now 33.

Bait and Switch

Officer,
someone kidnapped my little boy.
His hair is curly blond.
He is gentle, always grinning.
He cannot swap enough hugs.

See, they even took his toys
to the basement.

Here is his garage carrying case,
enough to hold seventy-two cars,
right next to this red basket
filled with assorted buses and trains
plus this miniature John Deere tractor.

They gave away his wooden blocks
to a little boy named Randy.

And officer, as if that isn’t enough,
someone else is using his room—
a serious young man with curly brown hair.
He is polite enough;
and I don’t see him much.

He inspects gutter spouts and rides
a real John Deere tractor to mow the church lawn.
Instead of homework his desk holds a Master Card
application, college enrollment forms, bills,
and a copy of Bill Gates’ The Road Ahead.

I’ve seen the evidence, Mrs. Oder
You’d better sit down.

Sheryl Kay Oder

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