Poetry: Living Doll | clivejames.com
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Living Doll

An Aufstehpuppe is a stand-up guy.
You knock him over, he gets up again:
Constantly smiling, never asking why
The world went sideways for a while back then.

I have an Aufstehpuppe on the shelf
Under the mirror in my living room:
I wish I were reminded of myself
Merrily dipping in and out of doom.

The truth, alas, is I’ve been knocked askew
For quite a while now and I can’t get back
To find the easy balance I once knew.
Until the day when everything goes black

I’ll spend more time than he does on my side
Wishing the sparkle of his painted eyes
Was shared by mine. I envy him his pride:
That simple strength he seems to realise.

My Aufstehpuppe was a crude antique
When first I met him. Soon he might descend
Further into our family, there to speak
Of how we are defeated in the end,

But still begin again in the new lives
Which sort our junk, deciding what to keep.
Let them keep this, a cheap doll that contrives
To stand straight even as I fall asleep.