Dollar Store Monsters

dollar store monsters are born of confusion
their packaging riddled in bad English
the monsters themselves are mottled messes
pink minotaurs who quote Shakespeare
neon plastic demons
who believe they are rainbow unicorns

the sign on their store shelf screams
some parents still try, though
the huffy fathers who feel their sons
shouldn't play with a red dragon
who whispers fashion advice on accessorizing
"those shoes, those shoes—
what is she thinking?"

the mothers who worry their darlings
shouldn't own toy sea monsters
who echo conversations as if they live
on an Earth where the ocean has swallowed Florida
and they nest in the briny jungle
of Epcot's broken shell

the children, they heed the whispers
hoard pennies to reach a hundred
wonder what the next monster will say
as it breaks free of its plastic dome
if it will announce recipes for pie
innumerate the ways Napoleon was a fool
or maybe, maybe
murmur the answers for that algebra quiz
that's bound to come next Friday