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My Mother the Rag Doll – Kate Axeford

My mother got the stuffing knocked out of her by a snarling Teddy Boy, who’d growl at her to button up. She didn’t. Pursing her lips, she sewed iridescent discs over black-bruised eyes, told him she was nobody’s puppet. Her words fell on deaf ears.

‘Darn it,’ said my mother, reeling, ‘he’s stitched me up, again.’

I was reeling too – from all the years of yarns she’d spun; I’d seen her unravel so many times, watched the wool pulled over her eyes.

It was too late when I noticed those eyes were pinned. She was gone – back on the needle.