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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Toys Are Meant To Be Played With

Toys are meant to be played with
Not to be left in their box
Collected for years
By reverent hands
Until the toys within 
Are reduced to tears
With no one to play with

Mint in the box
Doesn't mean a thing
To an electric train and it's rolling stock
Built thirty years ago by Lionel
Shipped to a strip mall hobby shop
Put in the back room and forgot

Only to be found again
Two and a half decades later
To the delight of the purveyors
Of things still mint in their box
Inside a veritable nesting doll set of boxes

Outside is the shipping box
With the red Lionel logos
A stock number telling it's set secrets
About the contents unseen within
But only to those in the know
Who have the sheet to decipher this code

Next are the individual brown boxes
Seven of them to be exact
With more red Lionel logos
The same stock number
With added dash numbers
To differentiate the pieces

Still nothing to see except box stock brown

Now come the interesting boxes
The ones that we see on the shelves
In the old Lionel orange and white
A large cellophane window in the front
To finally show off what you get for your money
A tease for the masses and their cash

Waiting inside these
Now three layers deep
Is the Lionel Chicago and Alton locomotive
Number Six-Fifty-Nine
In it's regal burgundy and silver
With six matching passenger cars
Baggage and combo
Two coaches
One dining and at last the observation

All this toy
Awaiting small hands for so long

So I hope my father approved
Though he is seven years gone now
When I came down to his old train room
To find an open empty Lionel shipping box
Seven smaller brown empties
Along with opened display boxes

And a burgundy and silver passenger train
Running merrily around the tracks
With my son at the controls

He did always say

"Toys are meant to be played with"