Baby Alive

a paper bag of cereal
for my 1975 Baby Alive
spills across Mrs Sullivan’s
new Mercedes Benz upholstery
her rear-view mirror scold
burns through me

‘Naughty Baby Alive !!!!!’ I cry

Tammy Sullivan next to me
smiles a small smile
in empathy
of mess makers

Baby Alive speeds
down our backyard
makeshift flying fox

Baby Alive screams ( I scream )
as she falls fast into bindii filled grass
limbs intact
Baby Alive


Baby Alive neglected
left inside
exchanged for tiny skink lizards
warm and smooth on skin
and wild swings
on rusted fire cables
down valley cliffs
to river bank hideouts
and squelching mud

Dead Baby Alive
no new batteries
a cupboard relic of the girl
who preferred
the scent of wild fennel

Robyn Cairns


Note: ‘Baby Alive’ was a doll introduced by Kenner in 1973 and later reintroduced by Hasbro in 2006. It was battery operated and could eat, drink and wet. Mine had a movable mouth.

Robyn Cairns is a Melbourne poet who writes many forms of poetry including; Modern English haiku, haiga, senryu, tanka, haibun and free verse. Robyn’s short form poetry has been published in Australian and overseas poetry journals and she has had two chapbooks published by Ginninderra Press: In Transit (2016) and The Drifting (2016).

© 2019