Love Or Something Like It by Carolyn Adams

She envied
the pink plastic furnishings
of other girls.
Hers were makeshift,
cast-off cardboard
from the kitchen,
the laundry room.

Hairstyle experiments matted
her cottony hair,
and there was a pinhole
in her forehead from a brief curiosity
concerning acupuncture.
Aware of the benzene in her DNA,
she still managed a shy smile.
A gleam was permanently fixed
in her blue-shaded eye.

Then, there were the heavier burdens,
my complicated plots and intrigues
she could never keep straight.
The disappointing Ken,
Tammy’s social-climbing,
the inane Pepper.

Perhaps she’d already given up
by then. Perhaps
she realized early on
that her permission
was not required.

The years passed.
She came to realize
certain things.
As she wore
that insufferable polyester dress
I left her in, year after year,
the stilettos that pained her arches,
she knew.
Before her arms broke off
and her head became unattached,
before all that,
she knew.

Carolyn Adams’ poetry and art have appeared in Pangolin Review, Willawaw Journal, Topology, Hawaii Pacific Review, and Skylark Review, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, as well as for Best of the Net, and was a finalist for 2013 Poet Laureate of the city of Houston, TX. She is currently a staff editor for Mojave River Review.

One response to “Love Or Something Like It by Carolyn Adams”

  1. Carolyn,
    I am wondering to what extent you were inspired by Dale Champlin’s, Barbie Diaries. Her book has the potential of stimulating world-wide research on millions of diverse relationships with the doll. Barbie Diaries has inspired me to explore my childhood influence by tiny, Story Book Dolls of the 1930s and 40s. Their destiny, also stifled by size, shape, smiles and frilly dresses.