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,



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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