Spunky the Monkey
My life-sized cuddle companion
Mascot
Slightly strange bedfellow
White haired and red eyed (but not on drugs)
We would spoon in bed
Or you’d wrap dangling limbs around me
All the way round
All the girls in the team had a monkey like you
But you were bigger and better
Your red eyes were completely unnatural
Compared to the hazel eyes of the others

Over the years you took pride of place
At the top of the line of toys
On my bed
You sat at the back of the imaginary slippery dip
Following the other toys
On their precipitous ride

When I moved out at 19
You came with me
Dreadlocked and off-white
Yellowed even
In a black plastic garbag
It’s not that I didn’t care for you
(I did very much)
But I’d outgrown you at 12
The same year that I outgrew
My little girl body
And journeyed into the terrifying unknown
Just as I hurtle now
Towards the end of my fertility
Unbidden, unwanted, squandered

You lived in house after house with me
Survived a flooding basement
A move interstate
To stay by my side
Then one day,
When I was moving house again
I couldn’t find you.
I searched and I searched
Amongst Peggy the Cabbage Patch Kid
Amongst the Kewpie Dolls and the Fabuland
The foreign coin collection inside the coconut shell handbag
And when I got to the end of my searching
You were nowhere to be found

Then I remembered at some time
I had outgrown you
Along with the mouldy Barbies I had thrown you away
I couldn’t understand why
As you were one of my favourites
Perhaps it’s because you were my mascot
My muse
My comfort at competitions
All before I left childhood
A childhood both happy and sad
A childhood happier than the time that followed
The turmoil that flooded the 12-year-old
Who packed you away
In preparation for adulthood
When I lost my littleness
Cultivated my consciousness
Grew my breasts
And bled
And was an afront to my mother
Who tried to tame her wayward girl

Spunky, you were wild
My wildness died the year you got packed away
You were fun and friendly
And you looked pretty crazy
I wish I still had you
And I hope you know I still love you
(Real love endures)

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