Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2008
in Joint posts, Poems and things
…At least I’m not one of them.
I don’t know her name, the lady that created me, but a part of her is still caught up in my stitching, like a fingerprint, and I liked her a lot. She bought my bare bones in a woollen mill in Wicklow and brought me home to an old house devoid of heat and life, but when she stepped through the front door she instantly warmed it with her comforting humming… when she sat down with me, I kept her fingers toasty while she stitched me slowly together. We kept each other warm for many weeks until the day my button eyes were fixed to my bear-shaped head and I was finally complete. From a forgotten ball of brown wool in a bargain bin, to a teddy-bear with plush stuffing and a bright blue bow tie. My smile is wonky like that of my creator, and I have paws made of black embroidery thread. I noticed straight away that my thumb is coming loose, a detail too fine for bi-focals to catch, I think it shall be my quirk.
It’s dark now.
It has been for several days. She plopped a wet kiss on my nose and wished me Godspeed before pulling the golden bow taut around my crinkly wrapping, and now here I lie, quiet.
I heard voices multiply this morning. Different cadences crossed the threshold and I felt the magical suspense as my hour of glory approached. Smells of cookery and candle-wax wafted through my festive coverings and the clear bell chiming of wine glasses being toasted muffled in my cloth stuffed ears.
“Is it time yet? Can we open them?” a small voice wheedled. I hear a subtle grunt of approval and my heart soared. I’m about to be unwrapped, about to meet my new owner, the person my creator cared so much about.
Gravity shifts suddenly as I’m picked up and squeezed. I growl a pleased sounding teddy-bear growl which only I can hear. Daylight.
I see a room lit with flashing lights which hits strands of tinsel and explodes brightly against the walls and the floors and in the eyes of the child that holds me.
“Awww, I have a brown teddy already!” the child’s shoulders slump for a second until he realises there are more gifts to unwrap. He lets me fall. I tumble into the pile of discarded wrapping paper below, and come to rest gazing into the eyes of the old lady who made me, I watch as she folds her arthritic hands in her lap and I want to be with her again. She looks sad.
“Simon! Don’t be so rude!” the mother chastises the child, but does it on a full stomach which weighs her conviction down. The child ignores her. I sit where I am for hours, until nightfall.
I’m scooped up and darkness falls again as I land in a moist place that smells like tea-bags and poultry bones. They can’t see me! They don’t know I’m here. I am carried away… I hear a door slam, and I’m cold.
I’m a forgotten bear. I try to get used to this fact as I sit for a long time in the dustbin outside the front door to the apartment – my black button eyes begin to accumulate frost and people march by, desperate to return to warmth.
Dirty hands. A boy in a filthy tweed cap fishes me out and peels greasy tin-foil pieces from my fibres. I am placed in a satchel, patted with fingerless mittens, and carried away.
Arms. I am held in two small arms, warm and cosy, periodically extended to be admired by the little sister of my rescuer, as the pair sit beneath an A.T.M. on Christmas Day with their paper cup. I am loved, I feel the love for the best brother in the world from the happiest girl in the universe. I’m a happy teddy-bear.
The little girl sings carols as she sits on her plastic bags and cuddles me. I watch as passers-by throw coins into her cup and I sing along with my teddy bear growl that only I can hear.
I am not forgotten yet!