Paper Doll

See her pretty smiling face,

And see her lovely hair?

She doesn’t have a worry.

She doesn’t have a care.

*

She’s here for you to play with,

So, go and have your fun.

She’ll keep that smile on her face

Until the day is done.

*

Dress her in her many clothes.

She’s innocent in pink,

Yet, the same doll wearing black

Is sexy don’t you think?

*

She’s treated differently

With every change of clothes,

But inside she doesn’t change,

As everybody knows.

*

You change her clothes, not her soul,

No matter how you try.

You’ll never know how she feels

‘Cause paper dolls don’t cry.

*

Cruel words and thoughtless actions

Will hurt her deep inside,

But behind that smiling face

Her pain will always hide.

*

So smile pretty paper doll

Your perfect painted smile.

No one cares to know your pain

Along life’s lonely mile.

* * *

Who doesn’t feel that way at some time?

I wrote that old-style rhyming poem in 1989. It was a tough time for me. I felt fragile and thought that no one really knew or cared about what I was experiencing. I went through the motions of the day; showing up at work, church, and social activities but hurting deeply and feeling used, abused, and quite unnoticed. Sometimes I feel that way still.

You’ve probably felt that way also. And if you and I have, it is likely that others around us  feel the same way at least at one point or another. That rude sales clerk, driver who cut us off on the way to work, and even that same annoying neighbor or family member. We really don’t know how they feel, so let’s give them a break, at least once. The world is pretty stressed right now. If we all added one kind word or smile we can soften it at least a bit.

And when we think of those who hurt us, rather than allow their words or actions to raise our blood pressure or rob us of our joy, we can say, “Peace be with you.” Ironically, extending peace to them instantly promotes peace within ourselves.

©2014, Mary K. Doyle

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