I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

25 April 2013

Everyone Says Boys Can't Play with Dolls

'Everyone says that I can't
play with dolls because I'm a boy.'
He was four, in kindergarten.
A little girl showed her new doll.

'I really wanted that doll, but
everyone said I couldn't.'
'What makes you a boy?' I asked him.
'Yes, it's that thing between your legs.

'If you play with a doll, will that
drop off? No; you'll still be a boy.
Everyone who says you can't
play with dolls is talking bullshit.'

I was that kind of Mum. And I
went out and bought him his own doll.
He cradled and sang to her. Then —
as everyone says, boys can't.

He never dressed her, he never
combed her hair. And when he was done,
he threw her on a heap with his trucks.
That's how my boy played with his doll.

Poetic Asides April Poem A Day Challenge 2013, 25: Everyone ...

(I'm calling this an extended quatern because I had to give it an extra verse, in which I also abandoned the chorus.)

Submitted for Poets United's Poetry Pantry #148


  1. This poem makes me smile, Rosemary. You did the right thing in my opinion. I am all in favor of breaking down stereotypes. Kudos to you for being that kind of mom.

  2. What a good Mom! Had to laugh at "will that drop off?"

  3. This is so cute =)

  4. Bravo for buying him his doll. So cute that he sang to her. Hilarious he tossed her onto his pile of trucks....hopefully when he grew up he stuck with the singing and cradling:)

    1. Well, he never had babies of his own, but is recently becoming a good stepfather to an 8-year-old girl. More hearing homework and watching movies on the iPad than singing and cradling, I think. But as for singing - he was in a choir for a number of years.

  5. What a fun poem. How boyish of him to throw it out after among his other toys. Lucky I say, you bought him the doll!

  6. Really interesting. I like this a lot. I wondered if Mum showed him the many ways with which a doll can be played.

    1. So long ago - but yes, I vaguely recall doing a bit of showing. However, the wish satisfied, he very soon lost interest. The doll eventually went off to delight some other kid.

  7. ha! loved this,. Boys are boys but they do have their ways too as children!

  8. I think you're a wonderful mom. Excellent write.
    Dropping by from the Poetry Pantry.

    Suzy at http://ilasoulpoems.blogspot.co.nz/