My Father’s Doll

The Infant of Prague is a statue of Catholic devotion that originated in Spain in the 14th century before it migrated across Europe to Prague.

The Infant of Prague atop my father’s bureau
was dressed in white silk and red brocade,
a domed crown on its alabaster head.

I coveted it as desirable doll
but it was his, given to him
as a gift by one of his sisters

who knew how much he needed help
oppressed by memories as he was
and self-consoled by ale and whiskey.

Maybe the Infant enabled him.
––though it’s difficult to imagine
the small arms being adequate to the task

one hand already raised in blessing
and the other holding a golden globe––
Perhaps the sight of the Infant divine

first thing in the morning was enough
for him to gather his thoughts, regrets,
and hopes in facing another day.

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