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Featured Poem II • February 2018 • Mythic Delirium Books

Featured Poem II • February 2018


After Her Brother Ripped the Heads
from Her Paper Dolls


Beth Cato


she found the dolls’ heads in the trash their little mouths in rictus screams she smoothed their papers as best she could through tears, whispering for them to stay calm their panic quelled, the girl began delicate surgery with Scotch tape matching up outlines and jagged edges with their heads attached, the dolls began to talk, panicked jabber that her brother would be back that he’d do it all again the girl rummaged through the family desk for the plastic letter opener for paper clips, to unbend into spears toothpicks for stabbing a mini stapler, to be wielded by a crew “let him come,” said the girl the paper dolls grinned their teeth sharp, weapons sharper



bethcato_smile_smNebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth trilogy from Harper Voyager. Her newest novel is Call of Fire.

She’s a Hanford, California, native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband and son. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.

About “After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls,” she writes, “This poem is completely a product of the month of November 2016 and the political shifts that took place then. Many of my works naturally gravitate to the voice of a girl at around age ten or eleven. That voice returned here, but was very angry, and strong, and would not cower in the face of relentless bullying.”



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