The Dolls of Palomar after Italo Calvino

By Charles O'Hay

All the dolls of Palomar stood together. Some were missing limbs, others were blind, some had no heads. The half-murdered and forgotten dolls blocked the road in and out of town and sang glass chandeliers down from the steel drum sky. The church bells rang and shoals of sardines leapt from the sea and dropped like silver purses in the streets. The mayor ordered the town police to disperse the dolls, but when the officers arrived they were so moved by the sight that they lowered their weapons and began to sing along. One even fell to his knees and wept, for he saw the doll that had belonged to his daughter, who had died of fever the previous winter. A tiny thing made from a sugar sack, she wore a green dress and had no face at all.


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