Who is this lovely, and what has she seen?
She spends her days in the corner of a deep, handmade cradle that is dusty and covered in chipped sienna paint. She watches as people pause to look, to admire her once bright golden curls that now sit askew on her dingy face. Even the sweet rosebud lips show the ravages of days long gone. There is no one to kiss her pink cheek goodnight, and no one to smooth down her floral dress. She waits with the others who will never have homes again, either.
Once, she sat in another store, shiny and coveted. How many hard earned dollars did it cost to bring her home to a lucky little girl? A bargain, at any rate, to bring happiness to a young heart.
She earned a name, slept cradled in a warm bed, tight against her girl, and held the honored chair at every tea party given during those years. She listened to the happiness of the day, and comforted wet tears in the cold, darkness. These were her duties, and she carried them out with unconditional love.
Had she listened to a mother’s tears as her eldest son went off to war? Had she rested in the cradle as bitter words were thrown in rooms next door? And did she suffer under the neglect of a child who had long since grown tired of playing with dolls? Finally, to be picked up and thrown haphazard into a musty cardboard box, this once precious sweetheart who would spend many years locked in the darkness at the top of the house, listening to fluttering wings and skittering feet.
Oh, to be found again, to see the delight in someone’s eyes as they pull her from the box and smooth back her hair. Was there ever a smile on her face? Her thick eyelashes remind us she was pretty once, as we all were.
Is it better that she rests in the bottom of the cradle now, aware of the world but not able to see more than the ceiling above her and the occasional faces that slip past? We shall never know her name, never know what love she once enjoyed, never see her tucked under the arm of a little child again.
These are the memories of her past.