by Linda Rosenthal
Shirley Temple went native yesterday.
It was the last thing I expected.
She had sat in the nude for many years,
because I lost her dress
and never found or replaced it.
With her stiff legs spread straight out,
wearing only that stupid, perfect smile,
she reminded me of how the police found
the corpse of Marilyn Monroe.
I never particularly wanted that doll,
And why I kept carrying it, I do not know.
She lived her cute life, not saying a word,
Perhaps feeling that silence was survival,
until one Saturday morning, as I was leaving
for my shamanism workshop, she asked to tag along.
She sat in the car, waiting through the sand mandala,
soul retrieval, and the return of my lost body parts.
When it was over, she begged to wear in her hair,
one of the macaw feathers hanging in my car.
She still wanted to remain topless.
From a brightly colored scarf that I found,
she asked me to make her a sarong,
"Like that old-time movie fox, Dorothy Lamour,"
she cackled, "No more g------d Good Ship Lollipop".
I gave her tattoos, shells, and beads,
she borrowed my crow's foot
to put a mojo on the neighbor.
She adopted a Miccosukee Indian doll,
painted a green heart over her fourth chakra; said:
"F--- all that tap dancing that I used to do."
Clapping her hands: "Let's sign up for bellydancing class."
For the first time in years, I really looked at her,
She'd been traveling with me for a long time,
She belongs in a place of honor.
Where she can be seen and definitely heard.
Or, when her time comes, buried with honor.
Linda Rosenthal is an award-winning poet/essayist who lives in
Michigan. She makes herself useful in the rank and file of a
corporation when she isn't loafing around in one of the sand dune
along the Lake Michigan shoreline. In her spare time, she studies
practice and tradition, dreams of sailing, trances on her rock and
collection, and creates art from natural objects.
E-mail Linda Rosenthal at