Lopsided, faltering raggedy dolls
Stumbling forward with feeling
As though risen from the earth
Ironic that the rag dolls of slave children
Toiled over and sweated from scraps
Reflecting the roles of their bondslave parents
Should now be held up by pristine props
In a glass cabinet in an English mansion
Precious items for all to marvel at:
Valuable antiques belying the heritage
Of poverty and sometimes cruelty
From whence they came.
A surreal experience to see them
In this manner.
I recently visited The American Museum in Bath, Somerset, where period rooms from America have been lovingly recreated piece by piece to amplify different eras in the design and art of the American nation. It is well worth a visit. I was struck by these rag dolls and the way they hung lopsided within the cabinet. Strange they should end up as valuable items in a glass case here in England. Definitely a surreal experience.
Poem and photo copyright Englepip ©