Playing House by Jen OConnor

My dollhouse was in the basement
where she and I played with our tiny dolls,
some articulated, some stiff, unyielding.
Girl dolls always wore dresses
usually painted on.
My favorite wore a red dress.
Her favorite wore blue polka dots.

One day, when my mother
was preoccupied with laundry,
I held up my girl doll to her girl doll.
They touched each other with their tiny hands,
rubbed against each other in that secret place.
As I remember, we did not speak
but it was mutual and thrilling
with my mother so close,
her back to us
while we did this forbidden thing.

Then, that moment was gone.
We picked up other dolls
and played childhood house again.

I don’t remember her name.
I don’t know what became of her.
I don’t know what became of me,
to feel that call so early in life
and bury it for so many years.

Jen OConnor
Jen OConnor writes poetry, plays, fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has been featured in spoken word performances in Los Angeles. Publications include poems and stories in Imagine magazine, Iris Brown Lit Mag, London Journal of Fiction, and Saved Objects. Her plays have been produced throughout the U.S.