Dolls for stubbornness, their
heads made of smooth river stone.
Dolls for finding water, with
long dowser legs and splintered feet.
Dolls for snagging memories,
in teasel heads and little burr hands.
Nut eyes, leaf wings, bark body, red leaf fire
Dolls bound head to toe with string,
to make a lover cleave and cling.
Dolls sitting in little boats
spiriting nuisance people away.
Dolls full of pins, their
crisscross faces in pain.
A white shell face, wild grass hair, a toadstool bed
Straw dolls with their hair on fire
turning all worry to ash in the wind.
Wrap a doll safe in a mullein leaf, tuck in
milkweed seeds and a child returns from fever.
Nail a doll to a tree and watch grief twist in pain,
go brittle and crumble; each tiny loss a bit of letting go.