Once there was a little brown bear,
given by a little girl’s mother
who had never had a bear
or any other toy in her childhood.
Teddy (not imaginative, just precise)
was precious beyond all else.
From babyhood to almost adulthood
Teddy slept with the girl every night.
He knew every secret, the deepest,
darkest, most remote,
close to the surface or
tucked so deep within, the girl
couldn’t even know them for herself.
His fur had been pulled in places
chewed on as the girl ruminated,
like a boy in the country
might chew on a straw.
She’d tried the replace the fur
with green thread and stitches
close to where Teddy’s heart was.
As she got older, she knew
she’d sleep with him
until a man replaced his spot,
and worried about that comfort
being gone but would
never share all her feelings,
and certainly not all her secrets.
Then came the time her family moved
and all the girl’s toys, books, linens,
memorabilia from high school,
was gone, fallen from a moving van
into the mover’s hands
for his little girl.
But Teddy, he was so worn –
how would anyone else ever know
his life, his history,
how he kept the little girl
glued together in times of trouble,
sorrow and joy? Where did he go?
She became so upset
just thinking about it.
of all she lost
he was what mattered most.
Thinking he was in a landfill somewhere
tore her heart.
All these many years later,
she still has distant remembrances,
wishing he was still here
to listen to the stories,
hear the secrets, and
be the best friend she’d ever had.