China Doll by Julie Diane Gates

A China doll isn’t Chinese.
She’s made of China.
Her makeup, painted in fine brush strokes
Is permanent, but not tattooed.
Her coif will forever remain set and breeze-resistant
Because she does and does not live in a sheltered encased world.
She’s impervious to that sort of thing, nor does she care.
Beautiful as she is, she’s hollow and dead,
But she’s dangerous because she’s priceless, precious, collectible
And breakable.
Everybody wants her, but she will stand forever rigid
In the back corner of a curio cabinet
Under a bright dimming light
Until her captor dies
And she becomes a $5 item sold at an estate sale
To someone who will put her on the mantle
Next to candles and pig figurines.