Dolls

Today, I was handed an unusual assignment: to buy a gift for an 8-year-old girl, whose birthday party my stepson is going to tomorrow. It seemed overwhelming to go a toy store – as well as challenging to do that in a zero waste kind of way – so I headed to a thrift store in the Old East Village and found these cute and creepy dolls of mysterious provenance. I love how their eyes close when they lie down and open when they stand up! Perhaps that is not such an unusual feature in dolls, but in my 36 years of life I have never paid much attention to dolls. Until now.

Of course boys play with dolls too, and if I had a baby boy I would buy him dolls. And dress him in pink. Actually sometimes I’m a bit sad that Freya isn’t a boy, so I didn’t get to do that! Today’s poem comes to you on Day 6 of 30 of my month-long poem-a-day challenge for National Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo

I never understood
why girls play with dolls
why they style their hair and
take them everywhere and
talk in funny voices and
dress them undress them dress
them undress them dress
them again

I never understood
why girls play with dolls
and give such attention to these
pretend people’s lives
the cars they drive
what they’re into
the jobs they do and
dress them undress them dress
them again

I never understood
why girls play with dolls
why they create fake realities
of consummate banality
give them personalities
imagine future scenes
project hopes and dreams then
dress them undress them dress
them again

I never understood
why girls play with dolls
I never understood
but now I do

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