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 Pall–Malls
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.