Raggedy Ann


Pure and pristine
fresh off the shelf,
purchased with promises
of better homes and lives
in the land of plenty.

Sanctuary shapeshifts into cells,
dark and dreary.
Poppets pulled
from the closet’s corner,
become rag dolls
wedged in pit bulls’ mouths,

who shake, paw
probe and gnaw them
until gutted,
stuffing spilling out.

Ripped to shreds,
in face and form,
they are cast out
into life’s landfill.

That place of sunken eyes
is haunted, without hope,
drained of life.

It is a land
no one visits willingly,
with its shattered shells,
transparent, floating ghostlike
through the landscape.

It is a land
sapped of spirit, where no joy
lives, just rocks, innocence lost,
buried in the rubble of souls
sucked dry of dignity,
bare of desire, trapped
in this world where only screams
ricochet in heads, endlessly echoing
in the emptiness.

Who led them here?

Some serve as guides,
others open doors,
easing the path for those
pushed and flogged
when enticements fail.

Some merely turn their eyes
away, avoiding, yet aware,
afraid they may be next,
complicit in their denial

But none can escape
purity’s perversion
It creeps, spreads
from victim to jailer
cancerous, ravaging
conscience to its core

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