The Truth of Broken Dolls


No matter how many times I think

I’ve finally fixed the broken pieces,

I’m drawn again to feel for those raw edges.

The crackles creeping under a porcelain glaze

that tempt my fingertips to bleeding.

Irresistible as the traces of blood red jam

that wet my lips, sticky and sweet as I bite.


Within me are the subtle nuances of a cruel joy

that bring comfort as I lay with the broken dolls,

their masochistic smiles soothing my sins.

I chew on lumps of tar as black as my quarried soul

for no other reason than to torment myself

for giving everything.  Pouring out my devotion

as I wait back here, once again in Jesus’ blind spot.



Written for dVerse Poets for Open Link Night hosted by Brian Miller.


31 responses to “The Truth of Broken Dolls

  1. Vanessa…the language you chosen for this piece lends well to the varied avenues the reader can take. The finish is fantastic, and forces me to wonder if one is hiding from salvation because the “self” deems her unworthy…a lot to ponder her…this is just off read one. Loved it!

  2. I liked the acrid self-examination here, especially since you’re a broken doll yourself (who isn’t – which is bril, btw). I don’t want to speak for Jesus, but I can’t help thinking that you’re probably one of His favorite writers. Thanks!

  3. dang….felt piece…hard piece but felt…those first 3 lines grip…then the start of the second stanza….

    Within me are the subtle nuances of a cruel joy
    that bring comfort as I lay with the broken dolls,

    ouch, but felt…and in the blindspot of jesus…

    you might as well have been in my head this morning….

    their masochistic smiles soothing my sins

  4. felt brokenness in this piece vanessa.. the pain, loss..a tough place to be but then…when i think of brokenness i always think of antoni gaudi who made beautiful art from broken ceramic shards that others would’ve thrown away

  5. ‘their masochistic smiles soothing my sins.’ Love that line especially. And the similar eye colour in doll and ‘person’ is rather spooky!

  6. So much to think about when reading your words… loss and broken dreams are apparent. I hope she can find her way.

  7. Jesus has no blind spot, it is only our wishful thinking that hopes He cannot see.
    Excellent write, Vanessa! You dug deep for this, I can tell, and you wrote a pwoerful and moving piece.

  8. Why do we do this to ourselves? “Within me are the subtle nuances of a cruel joy”… such a poignant depiction of self-chastisement. I can so relate…

  9. I love this, Vanessa. I think it’s more than just our broken pieces; it’s our rough edges. We’re drawn to those who fit along that same jagged edge (because somehow it makes us less broken). Truly, that is where our beauty lives – in the perfection of our flaws. Love you, B

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