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.

Discover more from Lesley S. King

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading