A snapped piece of elastic,
the arms depart the body,
the hair already shorn.
A pair of scissors,
in the hands of a small child,
the hair will not grow again.
Her mother makes new arms,
the cloth is green,
the “gonk” is of the same material.
Her brother practices boxing,
she clothes the small doll,
her precious “Penny”.
Her smile is still the same,
a grimace of early factories,
but she belongs to her.
She covers the cloth arms with sleeves,
roughly sewn, an art not learned,
she paints rouge on her cheeks.
She places her by her golly,
her beloved rag doll,
comforting them on her pillow.
There is only Cooji though,
her beloved bear,
snuggled in her arms.
The toys line the side of the bed,
no room for her,
but none can be left out.
Her other brother sleeps near by,
she has stolen his toys,
all occupying her bed.
Pandas, snakes, cleverly knitted,
she adores them all,
cosseted as if real creatures.
Two pandas, one with a weeping eye,
dear “Sammy” the snake,
and other plastic faces.
Fifty years later, wrinkled in face,
she remembers those toys,
she becomes the child she was.

© Fiona Meyrick
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