Saturday, February 6, 2016

Found Object Poem Project -- Dolls

photo by Laura Shovan

As a child,
my dolls were my closest friends.

When I left for college,
I tried to pack them in a trunk,
but had to release them before they suffocated.

They've lived my entire adult life
(up until now)
on the closet shelf
in  my childhood bedroom.

they will be auctioned away
to strangers.
I will hear them calling to me
for the rest of my life.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016


  1. I brought two home with me, and the rest were given to a shelter. In spare words, you've said a lot, Mary Lee. Even as adults, those childhood things mean much. The suffocated is so real. I still have my childhood teddy bear, out on a child's chair. And to think about the selling means more, doesn't it? It's a beautiful poem.

  2. I agree with Linda. So beautiful, this poem. So much here about the changes in a life, the pain of separation that the sale means for you and the dolls, and with our younger selves who call to us over the years.

    I once read an article by a neurologist who argued that it would be hard to convince him that we, as adults, are not actually different people than we were as children. Our cells, molecules, even our brain wiring have all changed and changed and changed again. We are (literally, for him) different people than we once were. Our younger self could not imagine our older self, and our older self cannot put the pieces of childhood back together again, to experience things as we once did. Perhaps, though, it's in the presence of things you can hold, that the older self can catch a glimpse of the younger self?

  3. This one is haunting.
    "I tried to pack them away
    but had to release them before they suffocated."

    "I will hear them calling to me
    for the rest of my life."

    When I was a little girl, I collected china/glass horse figurines. They lived on a very a special shelf in my bedroom. When I was in New Hampshire, my parents moved. My dad threw all of the small ones into a shoebox without wrapping them. Lots of the legs broke off. Years later I found them in a pile of stuff my parents had me take from their house. I was so, so, so sad. I still think about all of those little glass legs in the bottom of the shoe box.

    1. Oh, dear. I can just imagine finding those broken horses. So sad.