On the fourth day of Christmas…Carole Bromley


‘They came back, all the dolls’


Midnight.They rise from

their presentation boxes

with hard, painted smiles.


One walks stiff as a great aunt,

another lifts her posable arms,

the fairy doll rubs at the hole


in her hand, wailing for her wand

while the wee-wee doll

curls up with shame.


A naked Queenie opens

and closes her mouth. Mute

since I bathed her,


her drowned voice

mama, mama, mama,

one eye-socket empty.


The nursery-rhyme doll jerks

towards me, the key in her back

spinning, mouth tight shut Mary, Mary


And what has my love done

to the sailor doll? His cracked

grin is terrible, his bitten off ear.





Carole Bromley‘s first collection, A Guided Tour of the Ice House, was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2011. She blogs at www.yorkmix.com   and will be judging the York Literature Festival Poetry Competition (deadline 28 Feb) website  www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk

Note: This poem was  previously published in A Guided Tour of the Ice House.


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