Sunday Stew: A Doll Like Me

by Kiana Davis

I cried for dolls
that didn’t always exist on shelves
shelves that held rows and rows of dolls
for a little girl I did not know

when I got older
and stopped insisting
that all brown dolls
looked like me
stopped begging
my mother for an image
of myself to hold

she told me
she had been afraid
to come home from shopping
empty handed
afraid to bring her little girl
a pink, blue eyed, stranger

she blamed Reagan
for their absence
convinced that before him
she had no problems
finding brown dolls
for her daughters

she told me
that sales clerks stared at her
not understanding why
she couldn’t take any doll from their shelves
she said she searched stores
close to tears for me.

all I remember of those times is:
crying because I didn’t understand the absence
crying because I had to leave stores empty handed
crying for a doll brown like me
crying because of pain I could not articulate

Featured photo by Kate Charles