Joe, Unpopular

One of many;

The combat version of John Doe.

A lack of a soul trapped

In a plastic body

You'd think I'd be immortal;

Such is not the case.

You'd think I'd be immortal,

But cracks and snaps adorn this shell;

This shell without a soul.

No brain (supposedly)

No body, no mind

However, would you be so kind

As to entertain me for a moment –

One moment out of your war-free lives;

One minute away from your peace;

One second from your track homes and fireplaces and families

To listen to the woes of a plastic toy.

But although I am but a fabrication

Of an engineer's and a marketer's collaboration,

I am still a warning and representation

Of all that's hell outside the world in which you reside

So peacefully.

My arm falls off as combat continues,

My joints are broken and I wonder if it's because

Of the war, or

Maybe they were badly-constructed before.

Either way, I'm broken—

Outside and in.

Never thought that something with no soul could have it

Ripped out of him.

Time drearily goes on and

I seem to be getting highly

Unpopular.

But that makes sense;

No need to explain,

For if I were a real soldier,

I wouldn't be fond of plastic me, either.

But that's the game they play,

The toymaker and his elves.

They play and play until they

Can play no more.

I hear that the Toymaker out There

Is highly

Unpopular.

But this makes sense:

I don't like it when my toymaker

Manipulates me as many times as possible, either.

Particularly not when I'm falling apart.

We are all falling apart.

Plastic or not, we are still Joe.

Joe, with the breakable joints.

Joe, with the lifelike hair.

Joe, who's a soulless shell

And an unheard prayer.

Joe, unpopular.

Eyes that can't be moved

And head that cannot care

For the fear of the pain

That should damage but the body—

The soul that's not there.

For we are all wounded,

Despite which Toymaker we've got.

No comfort is comfort enough

To soothe.

Thank you for your audience;

Now go on with your lives.

-ELT

29 October 2007