Friday, October 25, 2013

Betty Webster Bishop Poems "The Doll Sale" and "Only Dolls"

I found this poem in an old doll magazine and I wanted to share it. The author, Betty Webster Bishop, has graciously given me her permission to re-print it here.

                The Doll Sale 

By Betty Webster Bishop 

The time had come to sell some dolls,
My house was overrun
With dolls and bears and other toys
With which I’d had such fun.
I chose the dolls I least preferred
I dressed each one just so
And as I looked into each face,
I’d think, “I can’t let go.”
I lined them up and tagged each one,
I double-checked their eyes.
I’d straighten clothes,
Then hear their plaintive cries.
Folks would come to look at them
And see their selling price.
They’d ooh and aah and pick them up
And say they looked so nice.
I’d hesitate at offers made,
Each flaw I’d quickly tell
And try to change the buyer’s mind
Before I’d have to sell.
I’d walk along the row of dolls
Once more, each one to see
And as I’d touch each tiny tot
They seemed to say “not me!”
How can I let these dollies go?
What made me think I could?
They’ve been a comfort through the years
And shared each changing mood.
One baby doll that I picked up
Just nuggled to my breast;
It seemed as though he breathed a sigh
Then settled down to rest.
I slowly checked each doll for sale,
It nearly broke my heart
And as I stood and looked at them
I knew we’d never part.
The bulging rooms are bulging still,
The house is still too small,
So let it bulge a little more –
I’m keeping every doll!

From Doll World, April 1992

She also forwarded another poem "Only Dolls" which was written somewhat later.


Today’s the day the sale was made,
The packing’s just begun,
But Oh, the heavy heart I have
Instead of having fun.
I have to say “goodbye” to dolls
I’ve had for years and years
And in between the packing,
I’ve shed a million tears.
I’d said I’d never sell them,
They were purchased just for me
To love and dress, repair and keep
For other folks to see.
Circumstances prevailing,
Necessity makes it so,
‘Tho loved and cherished ever,
The dolls just have to go.
I searched to find a buyer
For I was out of space,
But when I found that buyer,
My task was hard to face.
I worry, did I charge too much
Or maybe not enough---
Although the money’s needed
That’s not what makes it rough.
Delaying tactics didn’t work,
I employed every one.
Others said, “It’s only dolls
And packing must be done.”
How can dolls be just for gain
When each becomes a part
Of each and every owner,
For they dwell within the heart?
The lady buyer seems so kind
And said she’d love them, too,
So I told myself, “I’m better off
Since I’ve so much else to do”.
Some are gifts from special friends---
Most, I bought myself.
Many are meant to be held and loved,
Others to stand on a shelf.
Each has its own story
And each was given a name
And ‘tho they numbered three thousand,
No two were exactly the same.
They were dressed for special occasions
And each holiday, dressed in style;
The years caused some to be tattered---
Even so, they still brought a smile.
Now they’re gone, just pictures left
And memories tucked away
To fill the lonesome days ahead
No matter what folks say.
Now I tell myself, “THEY‘RE ONLY DOLLS”
And I will soon forget,
So I’m looking forward , hoping it’s so,
But it hasn’t happened yet.

Betty Webster Bishop
18825 NE CR 1471
Hampton, FL. 32044
PH: 352-468-2065

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