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The Dolls of 2020, a poem by Jenny Kalahar




The Dolls of 2020

Even the dolls have turned white-haired

at first from shock 

and then from unending at-home grooming,

no judging eyes upon them 

except through edited electronic captures

Even the dolls in the background

of video chats and meetings

have given up their fine dresses for comfort,

and even the dolls on shelves are dusty

and have lost companions in the virus

But we will return one day

to collect them under our arms,

bathe them in communal rivers,

clothe them in designer frocks,

and let them wander 

on their plastic legs from their houses,

hair trimmed and dyed 

any unnatural color of their choice,

walking stiffer among the crowds,

breathing laboriously without their masks

Jenny Kalahar is the author of fourteen books and the editor of Last Stanza Poetry Journal. She lives in Elwood, Indiana with her husband in an old schoolhouse full of books. She is at the helm of Last Stanza Poetry Assn. and the publisher for the Poetry Society of Indiana. She’s been published in literary journals and poetry anthologies, and wrote a twice-monthly humor column in the now-defunct Tails Magazine.