On readying her mother’s dollhouse for her granddaughter,
this daughterless grandmother picks up the plot.

The porcelain dolls, so familiar. Mother, with perfectly organized
hair, fixes the household for the return of faithful father.

At suppertime, son and daughter, suited and frocked, sit
dutifully in their chairs, heir napkins carefully placed in their laps.

The family stares at little silver forks, knives and spoons as correctly set
as the evening’s conversation. In the kitchen the refrigerator

keeps everything fresh without a chill. The Campbell soup unopened
remains on the pantry shelf where once again the catsup hasn’t spilled.

The opaque kitchen door is swung wide by the maid to bring in the evening
meal, a roast cemented to its platter, tiny potatoes by its side.

Upstairs, the nursemaid in her once crisp whites continues to draw
the children’s bath so they will be clean for prayers with mother.

In the living room fireplace, grated coals emit a steady glow
as father tries to retrieve his favorite novel anchored to the bookshelf.

Mother and father talk awhile before sleep until the dollhouse-keeper
securely latches the outer walls, turns off the porch light,

wishes them a good night and good luck with their new
mistress and her desires.

Published in Over a Threshold of Roots Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2007