Paperdolls was inspired by Mary Oliver’s Every Morning.
Yesterday, when marks on a door jamb
illustrated my growth, death murmured of
the Mount Weather plane crash.
I could not sleep for the vision of paperdolls
clinging by fragile papery hands
circling the mountain,
a childish tune underscoring soundless cries.
Even tonight, the memory spirits over me,
the specter of childhood horrors, fears.
How inured we’ve become as adults
to the day-to-day massacres of innocents
at the hands of neighbors.
I sleep at night, no paperdolls conjured,
the soft snores of dogs turn to hushed barks
as dreaming, they pursue prey, white noise
to my dreams of falling from a mountaintop.
How do we rise each day immune to the sun?
Habit thrusting us into traffic, to the pop music,
to life ordinary when other lives change irrevocably
unnoticed as we materialize and they dematerialize?
Our wants, our conceits, our demands, our expectations.
What we deserve, what we are owed, what we are.
Who are we and what have we become?
Paperdolls tear apart, the fragile clasp of hands wafer-thin.
Just dust in the rising wind.