she still doesn't understand why Humpty Dumpty would visit me in the dark hours
of the night, the time when floorboards and dog's nails are the only sounds from the distant
hallway, a bar of light at the floor my only assurance of its existence. Then. A little girl like her,
seven years old, but Humpty Dumpty never comes through the wall to speak with her
in the loneliness of sleep time--and what did he say? He said many things,
witty and tragic, though I can't remember any of his phrases now--and why did he come to see you?
Because he was broken.
He was the Humpty Dumpty after the fall, and unlike in the story I knew so well
from my mother's labored retelling, the king's men had failed to put him back together again.
He was missing his right arm, his left leg, and a chunk of his eggshell where his Humpty
Dumpty cheek should've been. Humpty wasn't what I was told he would be, and that's all
I can tell my daughter when she requests my comfort in her tall bed in the big room
where nothing comes out of the wall to speak and she's not sure anything ever will.