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  • Jennifer Copley

Doll on the Stairs

She arrived one night, late.

The landing window was open

as if she’d blown in with the blossom.

She settled herself on the seventh stair.

I picked her up but she stiffened the way a baby does.

I made to smooth her hair, re-tie her sash

but a look stopped me dead.

We went to bed leaving her staring into the hall.

Next morning the post was frozen to the mat,

milk smashed on the step.

We crept about our little businesses,

her eyes following, sparking like swords.

I take advice, am told she’s German—

Heubach Koppelsdors—that her head

and neck are bisque, her body composition.

I advertise but no one wants to buy.

Today her right hand is raised like a greeting,

her rosebud lips offer a slight smile;

sweet enough if you don’t want to know what she’s thinking,

what she plans to do with us now she’s here.

—Jennifer Copley


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