Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bye-Bye Barbie

A fable of Leah’s dolls

Betty with the home-made clothes
glares across the room at Barbie
who is shop-dressed, brand new,
buxom and coolly smiling.

Betty with the home-made hate
sidles across the room on her rag bum
sneakily, bit by bit, so Leah won’t see.
She is dragging the toy soldier’s axe.

Betty with the built-up hours
of staring across the room
has been inventing stories.
She is calling herself Cinderella.

She is calling herself Beauty
and Orphan, and Princess — and right.
Barbie, watching round-eyed, is mesmerised
as Stepmother/Ogre/Troll lunges for her blood.


— Rosemary Nissen-Wade


Fans of the Australian poet Rosemary Nissen-Wade should be familiar with Bye-Bye Barbie as it has appeared in three of her anthologies — most recently in Secret Leopard: New and selected poems 1974-2005, Alyscamps Press (Paris) 2005. Secret Leopard boasts of new material, work previously published in literary magazines and poems never before made public in print. A poet who sometimes writes in other genres, Rosemary is also an editor and a facilitator of "creative writing" workshops.  Bye-Bye Barbie appears here with permission of the author. View her poetry at the Passionate Crone.