Demise of a Pippi Langstrumpf Doll by Margaret Royall

Where once Pippi’s face from the toy box smiled down
Her blue eyes now squint through the dust-sheeted gloom
Lithe-limbed pale mannequins sprawl across the room
Suitcases brim-full with puppets and clowns

Sepia albums, ancestors long gone,
Chipped tea-set, music box, lost teddy bear
All now abandoned, nobody to care
For objects, which once oozed with family fun

Doll’s rocking chair where Pippi once sat
Listening to tales full of young dolly dreams,
Outfits now faded and pulled at the seams
Consigned to the porch for the family’s cat

Golf clubs and rackets once keen to compete
Doll’s pram and cot now in bits on the floor
Birdcage with stuffed owl obstructing the door
Art box with contents spilled over the seats

A whole life defined here, consigned to this space
Where now she’s abandoned, grown tired and thin
For without any warning, new children moved in….
Rejection now saddens the doll’s ageing face


Margaret’s fascination for landscape poetry, myth, legend and Celtic spirituality have been enhanced by annual writing retreats on the beautiful island of Iona, painting in Crete and periods of writing in her beloved France. Her work has featured in six anthologies by Hedgehog Poetry Press, plus entries in “Word”and “Pictures Launched a Thousand Words”. She was short-listed in 2018 for the Crowvus and the Bangor Poetry Prizes. She is a regular performer at open mic nights and leads poetry workshops in Nottinghamshire.

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