Robbie Gamble

Abandoned Bouncy House
by Robbie Gamble

Oh, the baritone drone
of your blower fan
dumb as a woodchuck
waiting for weeds to grow.
Some anxious neighbor
reported you to the police, twice
in a week, all the lights out
and no one home, day after day,
just you squatting swollen out back,
Each dusk a clutch of coyotes
sidles up from wetlands below
to sniff about your tautness, shrug,
and move on. You were written up
in the local paper. If there were cake
crumbs lodged in your seams,
the chipmunks must have found them,
and the neighborhood kids avoid
that yard now, the dark corner
under the linden tree,
its ominous, rotting crotch.
When I was a child, I ached
for lonely things: unloved stuffed
animals, a drifting red balloon,
and it’s you I settle on now, impervious
to rain, wobbling slightly in a breeze,
your bloaty form barely tethered
to power cord and hum.
I’m waiting for your moment:
first snowfall, a blackout,
a mouse-nibbled leak, the joyous
return of the rental van.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 4.

Robbie GambleRobbie Gamble’s poems have appeared in Coal Hill Review, Whale Road Review. Cutthroat, RHINO, and Rust + Moth. He was the winner of the 2017 Carve Poetry prize. He divides his time between Boston and Vermont.

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