“Made in China”

“Made in China” reads the label—
Shattered on the coffee table:
Some cheap and broken plastic toys
We purchased for our girls and boys
Imports purchased which enable

Labor camps that leave unstable
Lives in ruin and can disable
Limbs…but disregard the noise
Made in China.

Are our children really stable?
We disservice and mislabel
All the little girls and boys
Who grow up with cheap plastic toys;
Sold our souls and bought a fable
Made in China?



Out of Mind

Dark images my memory retains:
a dying loved one’s final, raspy breath,
the empty stare, the gaping maw of death,
contrasting what was lost with what remains.

Forgetting what the coffin, closed, contains,
most soldier on, neglecting fragile health,
resume their focus on amassing wealth
until the blood stops flowing through their veins.

But what’s another cautionary tale?
Didactic, preachy warnings from the grave,
inadequate to teach, much less to save,
ensure that fools continue to prevail
in wasting time regardless of the cost
and finding out too late what has been lost.



Randal A. Burd, Jr. is an educator, freelance editor, writer, and poet. His freelance writing includes assignments on the paid writing team for Ancestry.com and multiple online blogs, newsletters, and publications. Randal received his Master’s Degree in English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri. He currently works on the site of a residential treatment facility for juveniles in rural Missouri. He lives in southeast Missouri with his wife and two children.

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

3 Responses

  1. Joe Tessitore

    Very well-written and very powerful – the kind of poetry I’d like to have written myself!

    If you’re new to the page, welcome indeed, Mr. Burd.

  2. Evan Mantyk

    Dear Mr. Burd,
    Thank you for your poetry. The issue you have touched on is one that needs to be talked about more. Right now there are those who want to roll back the U.S. government’s trade war. If the Democrats want to have any chance in 2020, they need to get on board and realize the deeper cultural, ideological, and spiritual conflict that is underway. It is no coincidence that Toys R Us stores shuttered last year. They were full of Made in [Communist] China toys. They recently just opened a few more stores. I hope they learned their lesson and read your poem!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...