In my dream the neighbor girl and her father
are night prowling through our yard
looking for Barbie's bathrobe.
It is black and white, they say,
maybe fur... as they move through bushes,
the forest crowding the house.
The girl's hand grips the hard breasts and long legs
of the doll clad in thin pajamas. The father
has both hands thrust in his pickets.
They have looked everywhere and I am worried,
can't see them in the dark, can't understand
how they have lost this.
Then my daughter comes outside
still damp from her shower, her hair
a mass of dark gold tangles,
her narrow hairless body, round breast buds exposed
as she dries her back with a towel
and calls to them, don't worry! we'll find it!
and goes on drying herself, unaware
of her nakedness, unashamed of this body
which is all she has ever slept in.
Published in Eating Her Wedding Dress, Ragged Sky Press, 2009