Sunday, May 18, 2014

Bad Babies

April was National Poetry Month.  I wrote a poem a day as part of NaPoWriMo and this was a poem in response to a prompt to find a photograph and respond to it.  I didn't so much find this photo as remember that my husband had once taken a series of photos of our children's dolls strewn around our yard. Today I found the one you see here-- part of that series, and perhaps much tamer than my poetic memory.

Bad Babies; Photograph in Black and White

This spring rain reminds
me of the seasons our little
girls left their dolls under
bushes outside,
balding Barbies
and the strange water-filled
ones, mostly naked, unblinking
pleasantly tolerating their
tortures,  their abandonments,
their still, solitary adventures,
regardless of weather,
in tree-root hovels
in the fairy forest yard.

How you captured
the mystery of your
girls and their girl things
never asking, exactly,
the dark questions behind
their careless kidnapper ways,
Why blindfold?
Why this one sitting up, alert-
The other face down in the
Dirt?  What happened here?
And instead,
walked the muddy
ground, pulled back leaf fall,
snapped them where they lay,
at the end of their stories or
forgotten mid sentence for supper
or at the beginning
we’ll never know.  Always the
patient observer, amused
and bewildered, you
took notes before mowing,
left the bad babies alone in case
their sweet, terrible mothers might
some day remember and return.

Beth Lodge-Rigal for the Poplar Grove Muse 
Photo by Dan Lodge-Rigal


  1. Love this lyrical picture of a moment frozen in time. RRS

  2. "left the bad babies alone in case
    their sweet, terrible mothers might
    some day remember and return."
    So evocative. Remember these days in my childhood so well. MKP