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Like an old GI Joe that the boy puts
In a station wagon connected to
The toy car
Because other, shinier GI Joes, fill
The toy car.

Unclear to him, clear to us
It is a matter of time before
He buries his old love.

When the toy car moves on its toy car path,
The wagon flings the old GI Joe
Side to side
Crashes it on corners
Abrades its body.

The boy thinks his only problem is greed
He can’t let go, he wants it all.
This is all to serve himself.

But his greed is misled.
The wagon is heavy.
Without it, the car would move faster.

© Kate Eunah Lee, 12/17/2017

Author’s note:

Fairly self-explanatory. We might want to hold on to more than we really should. Simile comparing this situation to a boy holding on to old toys. A relay of stanzas where stanza 1 and 3 are descriptive, expanding the simile, while stanzas 2 and 4 are explanatory, providing commentary on the situation. The last stanza provides the take-away point. I think starting this stanza with the conjunction “But” really invites attention. The stanza break, conjunction, and the contrast between what the boy thinks (second to last stanza) and what the speaker/we think (last stanza) highlight the concluding point that the boy would better serve himself if he just let go.

Additional analysis:

The first stanza is a fragment, not a sentence. *What* is “Like an old GI Joe”? You tell me.

I feel like ending a line with a verb like “fill” kind of mimics the act of filling. Whatever it is, or the space, is “fill”ed with the subsequent line.

“the toy car moves on its toy car path” – written so casually. Repetition here helps provide rhythm, just like there is rhythm when something moves/chugs along.

An unfinished line followed by a line starting with “Crashes” – providing onomatopoeia and mimicking a sudden crash

Last stanza offers three blows, three punches of deep realizations. Each of these lines ends with a heavy period. Each line is a stand-alone sentence. The weight of the conclusions is heavy.


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