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Mark Rocha - Official

Doll

two buttons, on a face plastered white
hair down to the shoulders – dishevelled – nylon
moulded nose
molded chin
one ear missing
quietly seated on unused furniture.
like grandma's antique phonograph,
there is no music
save for the rain drops that make her dance.


I hate dolls, and clowns. I'm not particularly afraid of them, but I don't like them. Movies like IT and Annabelle haven't really helped either, however this dislike goes back to when I was really little. To be honest, I don't recall any untoward incident that got me on the turn, but I think I have zeroed in on one major source of discomfort - the fake smile.
If there's one thing that dolls and clowns have in common, it's the fake smile that has been plastered on - and it does not change. And if you think about it, that is scary on so many levels. Everyday we meet people who have fake smiles plastered on, and everybody wants those 'dolls' in their life because there's something so comforting about having them around. You can be open with them because their smile invites it. You take them with you wherever you go because they make you feel safe. But behind that smile, lies a nature that you may not see in the immediate future; because like paint, that smile will take time to fade. You won't realise it at first, but in time, the buttons will fall off, and the stitching will come undone; till finally you're able to see inside the ugly stuffing that nobody wants to reveal - yet there it is. Maybe you'll stuff it back inside, try to make it pretty again. Or maybe you'll move on to another doll, a prettier one, with an even bigger smile ...

This poem had started out being a look at the Janus-faced nature of dolls, however in the end, I figured - why kill the fun? I'll leave that to the clowns.

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