“Kataya,” Zinaida Serebriakova, 1923, WikiArt.

Playing pretend, game of childhood, dolls,
Tea and biscuits, cozy corner of bedroom,
Snow-heavy clouds, curtains, blankets,
Electric heater, sepia-tone photograph of
HM the Queen, reading books aloud, girl’s
Fantasy world on winter afternoons.

Decades later, I am playing pretend again,
Not with dolls but another woman, younger,
Beer instead of tea, hot miserable days, quick
Showers, we talk in civilized tones, as if
Reading script aloud, deluding fragile sanities,
Last few days, nothing happened (again).

“Adult play pretending mentally weighs, evaluates…”

Punctuated by heavy silences, adult play
Pretending mentally weighs, evaluates
Sincerity, tears, body language, past histories,
Stands in cold judgment, with deep sighs,
Reluctantly agrees, “Let’s just say you did
Not threaten leaving me (again).”

This dolly I cannot place on bookshelf, little
Eyes staring blankly, waiting patiently until
We play again. No, this wayward soul occupies
My life, has a job, struggles with on-line
Classes, wants something more in life, play
Pretending at relationships and romance.

“All names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this poem are fictitious.
No identification with actual persons, is intended or should be inferred.”
Thanks for reading.

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