Put Away Your Toys, Mr. Mann

Hopalong Cassidy dresses in black plastic.
He wears a hard black hat and sits
on a white horse named Topper.
His ears are broken off.
Run your fingers over the jagged edges.
Cars in reds and blues whir tiny wheels
across a barrier of ether. Press them against
the macadam melting in August heat.
You can print a hand in tar, bounce
wooden arrows off the trunk of a pin oak.
Play baseball all the way into dark.
The mother’s voice careens across
the doors of house after house.
Hard brown soldiers still crouch
in formation, all the sweet
books of youth lie across your bed,
and lullabies sail out of the mouths
of adults come back come back come back
protecting you from your own death.