The Three Legged Cow

What’s in a gift I ask of you?

Over my life I’ve received a few

But none to match my five year old joy

At receiving a gift from a miner’s boy

Of a brown lead cow with a leg short of four 

Which I carefully placed in my secret drawer

From then until now there’s been no repeat

It’s been lead in my heart with each gift’s receipt

The ones that made my heart go cold

Like a box of chocolates white with mould

Or socks that were more than a size too small

“I never realized you’d grown so tall”

Or a tee shirt with a motif I once desired

With the label: “Keep away from fire”

Or a prog rock vinyl, corners frayed

With scratches showing it’d already been played

Or a radio implanted in a knight’s vizored head

Whose kitschiness conspired to fill me with dread

Or those ‘perfect’ presents, so carefully thought

That somehow still amounted to nought

From birth to puberty to adult male

Birthdays and christmases left a trail

Of dashed expectations as hope ever dwindled

That those five year old’s feelings would ‘ere be rekindled

I never knew that that wondrous day

Would leave me this void I can never allay


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