The mailman came twice a day then,
except on Saturdays and Sundays,
and I would sit on the porch and wait
for box top toys and letters I could not read.
In December, 1961, a package came,
my name on it, from my great aunt Nell,
with another box inside this box
swaddled in Christmas wrapping paper.
The doll inside was not a box top doll
as white as I was, blond hair, blue eyes.
She was my own black baby doll
with black button eyes that blinked
and a smile made out of red thread.
Before I knew how exactly how to sew,
I would stitch my doll a pink-check dress
to match my own pink-check dress.
She looked just like me, only blacker.
Felicia Mitchell lives in southwestern Virginia, where she teaches at Emory & Henry College. A recent publication is Waltzing with Horses (Press 53).