terse baptist woman
righteous in her morals
was never warm and fuzzy

but felt enough to buy the fabric and buttons
for this motherless girl
pin the pattern, sew the ruffles for the white apron
hem flowery dress and knit the raggedy ann hair

when she presented it to me i was astounded
this raggedy ann was perfect, how could i hold that?
she was pretty and whole
but paramount was her perfection, this doll was flawless

and i systematically tore her apart
i ripped her to shreds, a little each day
not in anger but like some homework assignment
methodically and without emotion

and i grieved the loss of this beautiful hand-made doll i would never have again
even as i pulled out the seams and ripped out her eyes
just like the vacancy i felt as i carved into our household furniture with the seam ripper from mama’s sewing box
dad, oblivious in his sorrow, did not notice the ugly furniture marks or did not care, shrouded in his own fog of grief, his wife gone forever

the next time she visited, i felt dirty shame when she saw the mutilated doll
she assured me of her condemnation
and i wondered too, why had i done that?

i never understood until now
why destruction is the partner
for the disturbed:
people who are broken
break the things they love

foggy, courtesy of Jerry Frost

foggy, courtesy of Jerry Frost

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