Posts Tagged ‘doll’

How Long Has It Been?




They sit on the shelf now, mostly,

or have moved into boxes of memory,

those soft cloth dolls we once cradled

and cuddled and dragged from bed

to the yard to the car to the store.

They went everywhere with us,

their small yarn eyes always open,

never narrowing in disapproval,

never turning to shine on someone else.

Their plump cheeks eternally blushing,

their smile never uncurling

into disinterest, never snarling

into disdain. We could tell them

everything—about the girl

down the street who jeered

that our plaid pants were too short,

who sneered at the way we ran.


We could tell them about

the blue monster who lived in the closet,

and how he sometimes slipped out

to crawl beneath our bed.

And they listened. And smiled.

And let us hold them and suck

on their hands—or their hats—if that’s

what made the night feel safe.

They never whispered mean

words about us to their friends

while we were off at school.

Sometimes, it’s true, they would

disappear. That’s what all

beloved things do. And then,

days later perhaps, they’d be found

under a pillow on the couch or out

beneath the willow tree sitting

in the dirt beside the shovel and pail.


Now, it is we who have disappeared

into the world of harder things—

keys and doors and ceilings,

and women with words

like sticks and men with eyes

that seldom meet our eyes.

We are too old for dolls.

Still, there is in us, perhaps,

the faded longing to hold something

soft, something so familiar,

something so well loved,

so absent of cruelty

it makes us feel capable

of loving utterly, unguardedly again.






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