A Memory Within a Memory

by Mariah B. Sells


I carry the wooden dollhouse with both hands
and place it on the white dulled vanity.
It reminds me of my own vanity.
Crinkled paper like lost time surrounds
each tiny wooden piece of furniture.

I unwrap my lost time

and place each piece in its Victorian-styled
room, a house within a house within a planet,
the irony of it all.

You bought me this house within a house
when I was ten. Like economic debt, we
accumulated small furniture weekly.

You took me and smiled all along.
We were both Plato’s children swimming
downstream in his Republic,
both believers.

When Plato took you, I — selfish child — begged
for your smile. You were my father, my own Plato.
Maybe you still live in this dollhouse within
my house, this small world we created,
the irony of it all.

Maybe Plato had a Plato — infinite madness.

I sit on the floor cross-legged in front
of the dominant house within a house,
and I force my Babushka mind to stop.

I miss the dead, and as the rain falls
around my dominant house within a house,

my tears parallel the madness.


Copyright © 2012 by Mariah B. Sells

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