Joseph Cornell’s Bébé Marie

Easy to see she was well-fed.
I want to reach in and touch the full cheeks.
Probably a tomboy with those cut bangs
and raised eyebrows.
Easy to see from the expensive dress
found at an estate sale,
a collectible perhaps. Surprising—
as he liked to go cheap: five and dime stores,
thrift shops and items in refuse cans.

Not your ordinary Tiny Tears or perky Chatty Cathy,
more French porcelain and bisque,
more toddler than baby.
Not held much, not cuddled, not coddled,
not tossed by mice and wind
to suffer dismemberment—she survived
intact, plaid taffeta still bright.

These legs seem right for running,
a brief escape through late summer.
From the road
she sees him, the quiet, outdoor type.

Playmate come out and play with me.

But all he does is fend off crows,
stand silent on his stick.

In the scent of molding hay, she reverses
steps, still close enough to grab
the trellis to her room.

See her enshrined behind glass,
hiding behind a wicker fence
field flowers in her hair?