Don’t chew

by Mark Melnicove

Don’t chew on plastic soldiers! my mother shouted,
ripping them from my mouth,
they’ll make you sick! she warned, leaving me
without troops on the stairway landing
to watch her calves tramp down treads to the kitchen,
where she blasted out smoke from PallMalls
and whipped up eggs in a blender.
I had no desire to join her below
I could smell a war burning
nor did she call after.