Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 55

The depressing edition.

Shopping Urban

Jane Shore

Flip-flopped, noosed in puka beads, my daughter
breezes through the store from headband to toe ring,
shooing me away from the bongs,
lace thongs, and studded dog collars.
And I don't want to see her in that black muscle tee
with SLUT stamped in gold glitter
shrink-wrapped over her breasts,
or those brown and chartreuse retro-plaid
hip-huggers ripped at the crotch.

There's not a shopper here a day over twenty
except me and another mother
parked in chairs at the dressing room entrance
beyond which we are forbidden to go.
We're human clothes racks.
Our daughters have trained us
to tamp down the least flicker of enthusiasm
for the nice dress with room to grow into,
an item they regard with sullen, nauseated,
eyeball-rolling disdain.

Waiting in the line for a dressing room,
my daughter checks her cleavage.
Her bellybutton's a Cyclops eye
peeking at other girls' armloads of clothes.
What if she's missed something—
that faux leopard hoodie? those coffee-wash flares?
Sinking under her stash of blouses,
she's a Shiva of tangled sleeves.

And where did she dig up that new tie-dyed
tank top I threw away in '69
and the purple wash 'n' wear psychedelic dress
I washed and wore
and lost on my Grand Tour of Europe
and my retired hippie Peace necklace
now recycled, revived, re-hip?

I thought they were gone—
like the tutus and tiaras and wands
when she morphed from ballerina
to fairy princess to mermaid to tomboy,
refusing to wear dresses ever again.
Gone, those pastel party dresses,
the sleeves, puffed water wings buoying her up
as she swam into waters over her head.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I was looking for a depressing poem this week and weirdly couldn't find one! So glad you put one up. That was a doozy.

Molly Sabourin said...

Yes, you are right about the depressing part, but in general, I'm drawn to this style of poetry. I appreciate how the author can describe so rythmically and vividly an every day, rather mundane experience such as sitting outside a dressing room. She drew me in for sure and made me think - and that's a good thing as far as writing is concerned. Thanks for sharing this, Kris!

Kris Livovich said...

Should have said, depressing and please-don't-let-it-ever-be-me! edition.

Beth Hanna said...

Thankfully (no, THANK GOD!) I never went through any of this with my three daughters! Thank you, Lord! My son? Well, now, that's another story!

Michelle said...

Agreed Kris - depressing, please-don't-ever-be-me for sure! Reading it made me feel old...