A Trick of the Light

The little wooden boy
has cherry-red cheeks
and a lick of black paint
swirling on his brow.

He’s smiling now,
but it’s a trick
of the light…

he’s dead inside,
a hollow imitation
of some forgotten child.

Meeting him
is like finding an odd shell,
half-buried on the beach.

You dig it out
and realize that
there is no one home,
and the occupant
may have checked out
one million years ago,
or more.

Much like an empty conch
speaks for the sea…

Words are exhalations,
and if it’s cold enough,
they freeze,
patterns that seem


it’s entropy’s magic,
summoned from some
uncanny valley…
where little wooden boys roam,
kicking shells,
and humming their
random, entropic

I wonder
if I was ever real
at all.

©️ Obol, 2020.

4 thoughts on “A Trick of the Light

  1. Hey CG… I really felt this one. I once wrote about being a marionette, interestingly enough… so your piece really felt real to me. Like.. yeah, that’s where I am.

Leave a Reply