Playing House

23 February 2011

After one of the comments from yesterday’s post, I was reminded of this poem which plays with the ambiguity of doll bodies – the child/woman thing. Dolls are most peculiar if you really look at them. (I have really been looking at them) Playing House was in Smiths Knoll a couple of years ago, but hasn’t been collected yet because I realized when I was putting The Breakfast Machine together that it wasn’t part of that book, but part of a future one.  The collection I am writing at the moment is loosely based on my childhood.  There are more of these newer poems on the ‘Poems’ page of this site.

I’ll put up a pic of the triptych tomorrow – all three square canvases in a landscape narrative …bated breath, you say?

Playing House

I am constructing a house
from cardboard and fabric
and bits of flowery wallpaper,

while my mother sings
the song of a girl
as she skips with a rope.

There is a black and white cat
skit-skattering round the hall
with a cotton reel.

The walls are held together
with sellotape, and the roof
is an upside down box.

And the bed that I’ve made
from a matchbox is big enough
for only my smallest doll

who is hairless now, and almost
eyeless; who has the head
of a child, the body of a woman.