Department Store Mannequins


. . . look terminally serious,

lips pursed, mouths pouting slightly

with corners turned inward.

They seldom smile

or display the smallest pleasure,

even when meticulously dressed

in the most sublime couture.

One hand is on the tilted hip

to show off the flow of fabric;

cheekbones flat and thin

without the fleshy apples

that tempt eyes away

from the neutrality of brand.

Lackluster, emotionless,

sometimes headless or abstract;

no delight or euphoria here.

After all, smiling mannequins

might scare customers

if they flashed teeth,

seemed to be eavesdropping,

or appeared to have an opinion

about the cut of a cardigan.

Mannequins have nothing to say

but everything to show,

with their blank runway stares

fixed on some obscure,

indifferent world

that reflects our own.



Removing the Wallpaper


She’s scraping, scraping,

wondering who did this,

whose hands set traps for her,

whose bad taste caused

a conflagration of orange mums

to engulf the bedroom walls.


Will she ever peel away

this gaudy scrollwork

emblazoned with thumbprints

and flecks of red crayon?

Time has burned its emblem

into the garish flowers—

an umbra oily with hair gel

from her careless ex-husband

who read magazines in bed.


Hours pass; the room

is a mess of wet petals;

her shoes stiff with glue.

She will not be satisfied

until paste melts to the floor,

fresh paint is spread on plaster,

and her new life begins

with the stroke of a fiery brush.



Donna Davis


Donna M. Davis is a native of central New York. A former English and creative writing instructor, she currently owns a résumé writing and book design business. Her poetry has been published in Third Wednesday, Pudding Magazine, Slipstream Review, Poecology, Carcinogenic Magazine, The Centrifugal Eye, Red River Review, Ilya’s Honey, Gingerbread House, Red Fez, Oddball Magazine, Aberration Labyrinth, Halcyon Days Magazine, The Comstock Review, and others. She was a special merit winner and finalist in several of The Comstock Review’s national awards contests.


Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud