THE OLD RAG DOLL


 
Her hair was made of woven yarn,
Of many lengths and shades,
Long enough for curls,
But not long enough for braids.
 
Two matching shiny buttons
Were sewn in place for eyes,
An inverted "V" drawn over them
Made her always look surprised.
 
Those button eyes missed nothing,
And she heard secrets ... without ears,
She knew everything that happened,
And was wise beyond her years.
 
Her lips were painted cherry red,
In a forever smile,
And reddish daubs upon each cheek
Added clearly to her guile.
 
Her body was a pillow case,
Cut in half and filled with rags,
Her arms and legs were ankle socks,
Her feet, old marble bags.
 
She was soft inside and out,
She loved being hugged and squeezed,
And if her stuffing were squeezed out,
She could be re-stuffed with ease.
 
Her backbone was not straight at all,
In fact, she had no spine,
Yet one could not call her 'spineless,'
For she was as strong as twine.
 
She could be dragged from room to room,
Easily pulled along the floor,
She could be buried in the ground,
And be dirty to the core.
 
She could be machine or hand-washed.
And with care, put through a wringer,
Then oven-dried under Mama's eye,
And tested by her finger.
 
No matter how one held her,
She always fit, it seemed ,
In someone's arms or hands or lap,
Or held tight in someone's dreams.
 
If tossed about in anger,
If thrown down or cast aside,
She simply waited where she fell,
She never frowned or cried.
 
She was sneezed upon and squeezed upon,
Sat upon and stepped upon
She was banged upon and chewed upon,
And wept upon and slept upon.
 
She could not be bought or sold
At any store in town,
Nor in any catalog
Could the likes of her be found.
 
Nowhere in this whole, wide world,
Including all the shopping malls,
Could one begin to hope to find,
Such a precious, old rag doll.
 
Manufacturers tried their best
To duplicate her kind,
But they met with no success,
She was mom-crafted and designed.
 
I don't know when she left the house,
Nor even where she went,
I just know my years with her
Were the best I'd ever spent.
 
I've seen no dolls in toy stores,
That can even half compare,
With the old rag doll that Mama made,
With the woven yarn for hair.
 

Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright June 2004
 

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I wish to thank Christmas Treasures for the copy of their little Raggedy Ann doll.

And I also wish to thank Margi Harrell for her "Playmates" midi.