Stone Smile

She has a doll
with lips like rose petals
and one with a smile hard as stone.
And one whose torso is stuffed muslin
hands and feet porcelain white.

Helen plants her dolls
waist-high in the dirt to grow.
She tells me, tall
her flat palm slowly rising.
She has learned tall
without seeing the moss-draped oaks
scratch the sky, yesterday
she signed grow
carefully replacing the newborn pup
next to its mother's nipple.

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