Tuesday Poem


Lost in an infinity of misted mirrors
among shelves of Optrex,

Pepsodent and pink calamine,
I dunked net petticoats into sugar solution

to froth out the nylon frills of that
first dance dress.

Hanging it to drip-dry over
the porcelain sink I squeezed

obdurate adolescent flesh
into a rubber roll-on that chaffed my thighs,

attaching 15 deniers
to silk suspenders,

before turning to straighten
the wayward seam along

a newly shaved leg and wriggle
into my strapless Wonderbra.

Then spitting into the little
Bakelite box to soften the black wax,

a flick of mascara
applied with a tiny brush.

Backcombing my hair, the lady
on the Elnett tin of hairspray

smiled with a poise
I could never muster.

So much preparation
to end alone

beneath the rotating mirror-ball,
as the last waltz faded

and flakes of light spangled
my bare arms in falling snow.

by Sue Hubbard
from Ink Sweat and Tears