I say goodbye to a doll

who wears a cotton dress

and a pine-green coat

her hair cut in one spot down to the roots,

my 8-year-old attempt at being a hairdresser.


I also wave farewell to a teddy bear

who I used hold in the night.

He once played music

but for some fifty years has been silent.


I see them disappearing into the distance

hand-in-hand like Pooh and Christopher Robin.


For years these toys have lived

the way memories do

shut inside a cabinet,

their presence unquestioned.


But one day I looked inside and saw

their journey was no longer with me.


I am not that girl

youngest of three

not the littlest one

the temper tantrum kid

the good girl

the mediator.


I’m also not the woman

without a child

but with a dog

the daughter

the sister





All of these, and their memories

accompany the doll and bear

as they disappear down a country road

to embellish others’ lives.


This moment

I play naked

in the luminous poppy field

with my Beloved.


No memory but now

no identity but love.