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Play House

The kids in that dollhouse got to do things I never would, like climb on the roof to have a talent show, and rotate their bedroom every two days, and spend weeks in the bathtub. The pond was a flattened aluminum cigarette ashtray I stole from a bar when I was six, though Mom says I must have picked it up off the ground. The grass was two sheets of green felt which my sister and I took turns re-arranging on the wide counter in front of the dollhouse. Sometimes the doll-family scooted down our real-life handrail like it was a mountainous slope of polished ice. The kids committed suicide every day from the top of the house, before I knew what that was, or the cliff out in the back; or they performed dances in which they often flew, performing back-flips in the air. The adults lay side by side in their bed at night like one was the fork and one the spoon, and they’d never, ever venture past their plastic divider.

I haven’t forgot that old dollhouse that we had to leave behind. Such small rooms always made me want to be either tiny myself, or collapsible, and to push open a hand-drawn door and go inside.


Colleen Maynard is a Kansas City-based, to-be-Illinois based poet and visual artist. Her art-writing has previously been published in such places as the Australian-based Ceramic Art and Perception.  She is currently working on a chapbook containing prose and drawings.

Read more stories by Colleen Maynard


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