portion of the artwork for Jayne Pupek's poems

Dolls and Sparrows
Jayne Pupek

Stopping by the yellow house, I don’t want to hear
paint peeling or witness the dirty things
they do to the doll who lives inside.

Every time I see her in town, her pink hands seem smaller.
The look in her eyes is green and hostile like sin
or maybe something else. I don’t ask my mother.

Her hair is a bird’s nest. When she scratches
her head, another sparrow takes flight. Disoriented,
the birds do not know where to go. They align themselves
on rooftops and clotheslines, where white sheets
hang, watchful as Klansmen.

The undergraduate who rents a room from us says
there are names for the things they do to the doll. Each act is a crime.
They are written in his textbook on abnormal psychology, which is
the study of lunatics, misfits, and derelicts. Their kind.

Sometimes the men leave the house without the doll.
I hear them pass below my window. I hear them
whistling in the dark. The doll doesn’t know
this would be the perfect time to run. Or maybe
she is like the sparrows and has no place to go.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 27 | Law & Order Issue | Winter 2010