when i was new


marionette girl

when i was new


you would want to read me

to watch and investigate   

to play with me.


i was shiny, then:  


and sweet-smelling

like that slightly perfumey plastic

the kind that signaled something good

when we were young

and didn’t know the difference.  


(i used to think that the plastic bottoms of my

cheap chinatown shoes

were chocolate and try to eat them)


now you put me away again

you’ll share a little bit but you don’t really want

to give your toys away.




so i’m shoved back up in the closet,  

stuck collecting dust

an empty glass-eyed stare 

waiting to be pulled back down

at your leisure.


you almost forget—

but suddenly i

light up your eyes again.

and it’s

almost as exciting as

the first time

you held me like that

your skilled grip a perfect balance of

firm and gentle

bending my small pieces around

guiding my limbs with such skill and grace:

i fold, hang and glide,

a marionette surrendered deeply in a dance

of pleasure.


for a moment you are captivated

watching as

we move in synch.  


then i’m away again.

each time you tug my box down from the shelf

i’m a little more used up

and you are a little less thrilled.

with each reach i’m closer to shelf life,

 you’re a little more bored.


(mommy! I want a new one.

this one doesn’t work anymore.)


i work, though—

i work better than before.

you’ve warmly worn me into



but you can’t see it.

you are blinded  

by the shimmery show

of new distractions


(mommy! i need a new toy to bring to class.  

show and tell is tomorrow!)


the thing that you bring out

to tell stories of—

that has to be pretty.


it has to always be better than

the last.


this could never stay enough.



{Image: Send me adrift at Flickr}