Bedtime Barbie

 

Cherry paper catches stars

from the Christmas tree by the

scratchy wicker basket.

Pink wrapping rips fast,

except where Sellotape tugs tight,

resisting, putting up a fight.

 

Bedtime Barbie sleeps

through jiggling and jerking and pulling

and slippers coming loose in the box

to smack her in the face.

She needs a kiss goodnight

but goodnight is a forgotten wish,

remember.

 

She smells of blanketed babies.

Lace nightie tight at the neck,

skin beneath not yet wrong.

Wavy hair is brushed and plaited and patted

and persuaded by a boyfriend to be kept long.

 

Discard cherry paper

in tangles of sheet and pillow and ribbon.

 

No, save the wrapping – it’ll get used again,

for something small.

 

But the stars are ruined.

 

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