Poet’s Corner: Baby Doll

Although the Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, the act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans. After being temporarily reinstated in a short term spending bill on January 25, 2019, it expired again in February. The Democratic-led Congress has passed a bill reauthorizing the law, but the measure has not been taken up by the Republican-led Senate. Robin Clark’s poignant story and poem remind us that so many women are still at risk.

Some time ago, I heard a scream in an orchard–a young woman yelling for someone to stop that, you are scaring me. As these two people emerged, they were clearly addicts of some kind and she was bloodied, as was he. Difference is, she had a terrified look on her face, he was laughing. When I asked what was going on, she said he was trying to burn her face with his lit cigarette. He denied it and said she was crazy. I could see the truth; I could feel their pain; I have been haunted by that moment. I wondered what they were like before addiction or when they first fell in love…. I hope she found her way out; I hope he found his way in…. This is for them, wherever they may be–screaming in the night,.

Porcelain, bisque;
Tattered cloth;
Enameled lips;
A woven swath:
Made of threads
From fertile beds–
Wrapped around some seeds.

Seeds of hopes;
Seeds of dreams;
Seeds of cause
To grow what seems:
What’s not to be,
But carved in stone–
The damages
Of life alone–
Like baby dolls,
Thrown to the dirt;
Never held;
Only hurt.

Matted hair;
Tarnished nose;
Stitched in gold;
Awkward pose;
Eyes, they stare;
Soul stripped bare:
Shadows scream
Still, no one’s there.

What’s a life
When I am one?
And stars are blinded
By the sun?
And Luna cries
In winter’s night;
While owls fly low
Without their sight;
And bats screech death,
And children flee:
Is that a life?
Well, not for me.

I’m born for love;
That cherished “awwww”;
Your baby doll;
You’re last hurrah.
Instead I get
The razor strap;
A bruise, a cut,
A mighty slap.

Well, wrap me up;
Put me away;
Save me for 
A better day.
I’m delicate;
I’m here to be:
Loved by you,
And loved by me.

But when you chain me
Like I’m a dog?
Or beat me
With your cowardly slog?
And when you say
I’m nothing but
Your damaged goods:
A worthless slut?
Or take my hair
And drag me through
Life’s murky, toxic,
Dangerous slough…
My light turns on,
And all I see
Is what you own
On bended knee:
Your evil thoughts;
Your devil’s call;
An ugly life;
Absent…
Your baby doll.

Top photo: Bigstock

About Robin Clark (31 Articles)
Robin, born in Talent Oregon, now resides in Bellevue, a community outside of Seattle Washington. She is a published poet, OP-ED writer and Children's story author. She is currently in partnership with a composer who has asked her to write the book for his next musical. She is also being courted by assorted Directors to write a stage play and her dream is to leave a legacy in words, where you come to realize anything is possible.