Nicole Henares

Doll Talk

From their place of honor, the large pink in the doll case and bookshelf that the father had made for his little girl, the dolls gossiped.

Her button eyes gleaming, the Jamaican doll fluffed her faded skirt of shredded voile and shook her red head wrap, "Sometimes you've just got to laugh. Out of the mouths of babes. To get into such multicultural fervor from Walt Disney!"

The Swedish doll, with little candles in her braids, pretty in gold and blue, purse her lips together, "Imagine, getting the idea for us from such decadent capitalism!"

The Irish doll, her red braids ribboned into loops, fingered her white apron and the thick green cloth of her rickrack trimmed costume and sighed, "O, the irony. Yet at least she figured THEM out," pointing to the Barbies on the peeling bookshelf near the door.

The Barbies pretended not to listen, pinking in indignation. They, like the little girl, loved Disney without question, yet thought she was strange in her disinterest of them. They patiently waited for the next child to be passed along to, one who would appreciate the beauty they knew they had.

"He's strange," the 100 tiny polychromatic woven dolls from Guatemala chorused, motioning to the gangly Pieman who waved an insidious fist amid the sweet faced collection of Strawberry Shortcake dolls on the floor, "but at least the rest of the fruit dolls look like little girls, and smell of innocence."

"It is from the mother, the mother has done a good job teaching her these things, Disney just ignited her imagination," the Filipino doll, in a dress of batik and carabo shells decorating her throat, hurumphed.

"Nonethess ironic," the Swedish doll sniffed.

The Hawaiian doll spoke next,"She doesn't understand that we are not just flowers, song and hula. We are struggle and heartache, this is what makes us women. The mother knows this, but shelters her."

"The mother shelters herself," tisked the Jamaican doll.

"Well she gets that attitude from HER mother," cautioned the Filipino doll, "it always goes back to the mother."

The Korean doll, in a dress of pink rainbow arian satin, sighed, "The mother and grandmothers have given the little girl an inherent goodness. However the girl is very spoiled, hopefully she'll learn."

"Yes," echoed the Filipino doll, "but what I'm worried about now is the grandmother who is the father's mother, the one who took in the girl's mother and taught her things her mother never taught her. The grandmother is sick. Who will help the girl, who will help her mother? The men are so limited in these things, and it will take years for them to recover from the grandmother's death."

The dolls looked to Esperanza.

"You're awfully quiet tonight Esperanza," the Swedish doll quipped, straightening a candle.

Esperanza, sending a silent prayer to Lorca, did not respond to her friends and cried softly into the night.

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