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My son builds a castle out of candy—
boxes of Nerds on the bottom, stacked with
boxes of Sugar Babies, Milk Duds and Dots.
Kit Kats and Double Bubbles balance on top.
We make a Twix moat and cannons out of
Tootsie Rolls, sentries made of Sugar Daddies
and a forest of lollipops. And then come
the bombs. First the sour gumballs, but
their damage is negligent. Next
the larger Tootsie Rolls, but the castle
still stands. Finally we bring in the Blow Pop
and threaten to drop it. The Sugar Babies
Sour Patch Kids cry for mercy, but it is too late.
The sugar bomb drops and the castle crashes
and we roll on the floor laughing, holding our bellies,
laugh because after all it is only candy
and we are about to build the castle again
and tonight the sky above us is quiet and clear.
Though he does not know it, I’m well aware
that these playful hours are already under siege
and all too soon will come crashing down.
How I hope in its rubble this laughter survives.

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