granny’s dollies

last thanksgiving granny gave me her dollies

we carefully lifted them from their wrappings

smoothed their skirts, their faces

said their names

there was loretta, the stunner from uncle paul

and powder puff the stuffed baby

whose faded features were nearly indistinguishable

and a host of others with labels neatly pinned to their chests

the year before that, she gave me

great-grandma gladys’ engagement lavaliere

which passed to me as the eldest daughter

of the eldest son

it waits in a drawer for my wedding day

and, if that comes, then perhaps

it may pass to a laughing-eyed girl

of my own

and one day we will take

granny’s dollies out of their box

smooth their skirts, their hair, their faces

and whisper their names once more