The sorrydolls are sorry that the novel you are reading sucks so largely.
Each irritated sigh as you turn the pages pierces them 
and makes them wish to bind themselves to the unsatisfying storyline,
so that they might close themselves and give you back blankness.
They can't though--
they just sit there, face down in the laundry basket,
as sorry as undone chores.

The sorrydolls are sorry that the marinated chicken was disappointing.
You said nothing, but they could tell
by the way you chewed so slowly,
and concentrated on the buttered roll instead.
The sorrydolls aren't hungry, they never are--
they are stuffed sick with empty.

Out by the curb,
propped inside the trash can,
the sorrydolls sit in the dark with the chicken bones and the greasy foil.
They will not tell anyone that you can't cook for shit;
not a whisper, even to the trash collectors.
Such discretion would be laudable, if you gave a damn what they say, or to whom.

The sorrydolls keep coming back to you, like bad pennies,
slipping themselves through the piggy bank slot of your life,
like dull, thrifty relatives.
Dead despots, writhing in hell,
aren't sorry, despite the mountain of skulls at their feet.
Sorrydolls would do them no good,
but you, YOU! So much to be sorry for,

Image: "sorrydolls" by Susie McMahon. Written for Real Toads mini-challenge.


  1. There is a dismal cadence to this, even though it starts off almost like prose--it doesn't stay that way long, as each word starts to turn its little knife. The dolls seem both enigmatic and emblematic, of something, some failure, some curse the narrator has incurred unintentionally that yet comes home in these subtle and niggling ways. Then the end--I just pulled hair out and raised my eyes to the heavens--that is one slap in the face finish Shay--really fine writing.

  2. What a scenario you have created Shay, I felt my hair rising with each stanza ~ The ending was sharp turnabout that I felt sympathy for the sorrydolls ~

    Thanks for participating with Sunday's challenge & wishing you Happy Weekend !!!

  3. Dolls creep me out . . . I love the way they are like silent witnesses in this piece. Great write.

  4. i feel unqualified to even comment.

  5. There's a creepiness to these sorry dolls. But maybe it's just me...

  6. What a brilliant notion, Shay! I'd never have thought a pair of sorry dolls could come so in handy.
    "Don't like it? Tell the sorry dolls...I'm sure they care because I don't!"

    This says so much to me about how one person can take all the joy out of another's life.

    The sorrydolls aren't hungry, they never are--
    they are stuffed sick with empty.

    Really, excellent.

  7. Each of us have those sorry dolls inside.. they pay a legacy to our failures, just accusing, never solving.. If it's not marinated chicken it's something else.. we need the smiling dolls that appreciate what's good instead (hey those rolls where maybe enough).. I like the form and scansion of this a lot, there is a gentle rhythm that goes so well with the theme...

  8. love this story of creepy silent watchers....

  9. Terrific. I've got some somewhere. K.

  10. "they just sit there, face down in the laundry basket,
    as sorry as undone chores." Love this! Another story told so well.

  11. That first stanza is so freaking brilliant I can't stand it!

  12. damn. brilliant, Shay ~

  13. ... the sorry dolls aren't hungry, they never are, they are stuffed sick with empty.

    My sister dolls want to come visit your sorry dolls. Bring you some happy.


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