by Caitlin Doyle
The stone dolls, excavated from a tomb,
are eyeless, armless, heavy for a child
to hold. Not like the dolls that lined the room
my sister and I shared, their bodies light
and bendable, their eyelids mobile, hair
so real it tangled with our own at night.
But what we learned from them was only life—
we never pressed our cheeks to death like girls
who played with stone dolls did. The doctor’s knife
could not have caught my sister more off-guard
or left me less alone; I had my dolls.
Though, soon, they lay on tables in the yard
with price tags. Even then they looked alive,
survivors with no sickness to survive.