The gardener and I visited our local used bookstore and loaded up a box. I know, I know. I’ve said I have a shelf and a half of unread books. I have a lot of want-to-read books on my Goodreads list. I’ve promised people their books will be read in the next phase. But the gardener was out of his books to read. He reads hardcover-only historical fiction, preferably in Asian settings. Nothing too specific hahaha. I didn’t happen to have any of those on my shelf, so off we went.
Can you imagine me waiting around in a bookstore with discounted and sale prices and twiddling my thumbs?
All of this is to say It’s Not My Fault.
I thought I’d check out mysteries and poetry. I don’t even bother to look for memoirs because our store rarely has any in stock. Maybe people don’t give up their memoir copies as quickly?
In the somewhat lame poetry section, I found a Billy Collins book, so I grabbed that. But most of the rest were obviously cast-off textbooks/the classics–and I already have those.
In mysteries I had better luck. I prefer cozies. And of cozies I most prefer theatre (those are hard to find) and cats (those are easy to find) and retail shops (antique, book, etc.). What I never thought I’d find would be dolls!
And here they were: 4 wonderful mysteries of the Dolls To Die For series by Deb Baker. The entire short series right in front of me. And guess where they take place? Phoenix! (aka home)
So I brought them home where they are right at home.
When I lined them up with the doll buggy, I was reminded of a poem in Doll God. “Vintage Doll Buggy” was originally published in The Antigonish Review, a Canadian literary journal. I wrote this poem about war and innocence, focusing on a green doll buggy I’d seen in an antique store. But I happen to have two versions of that buggy–one pink and blue; the other red and white. In the poem you will see why I used the green buggy instead of mine.
Vintage Doll Buggy
“Every Boy Wants a Pop Gun”
— the company’s slogan. And
not just guns, but air rifles,
clicker pistols, caps.
They specialized in the arms
industry for boys in striped Ts.
How this paean to fertility
flowered in that factory, it’s hard
to figure. Pre-war, maybe 1930s.
Pressed from Ford plant
scrap metal, like the guns.
The inside cups like a clam shell.
Like an embrace. A sheath.
With a satin pillow, it’s a rolling
coffin, a time capsule.
When the fighting began,
the government banned metal
for toys. The war effort claimed
even the green paint. At the factory
they pressed en bloc clips
for the M1 Garand rifle.
Now its wheels bow out,
the green paint
chipped and dulled.
The yellow canopy still reverses.
A calm lingers inside as when
one fingers past a peony’s petals.
Click through to Amazon
Nancy Ann Storybook doll with pre-war doll buggy