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Category: Poetry
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Vivien Leigh

Mentally strolling down memory lane while writing my memoir My Gentle War, I thought of all the fun I had rummaging in Grandma Havard's 'clothes box' as a six/seven year-old.

It really was a treasure trove of enticement, and I spent several hours of sheer pleasure trying on dresses, stoles, hats and shoes of all colours and materials: from scarlet and midnight blue silk and taffeta to crepe de chine and crushed velvet; not forgetting diamante-trimmed 'winkle-picker' shoes, and pert, tiny hats with spotted veils. Later, I thought Vivien Leigh to be the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, via Gone with the Wind, and fancied looking like her. Ha ha...

Well, little girls can dream, can't they?!

VIVIEN LEIGH

First the shoes:
black, shiny patent, pointed toes -
click slick high heels -
diamante trim -
very smart.

Next the dress:
azure blue, swishing silk,
waist-band folded;
below glittering, gleaming
blue sequins -
a tidal wave of Caribbean sea -
flirts with shoe edges.
Above forlorn 36B cups...

And then a one-eyed ginger fox
bobbing over one shoulder.
He can no longer dream of chasing chickens;
óh, what a blank, unseeing eye!
Oh, what a dear, pointed nose!

Later, he will be reverently returned to his
garish, comfy death bed,
next to the nodding poppy straw hat,
to nestle up to apple-green and tangerine
crepe-de-chine
beach pyjamas -
which smell of Germolene.

And now the hat:
pert, early 1940's
black satin, measled veil -
very chic!

Mottled vermilion lips break into a gap-
toothed grin
as Vivien Leigh teeters towards the mirror.

 

EDITOR: Joy has written an excellent article about My Gentle War which can be read here. The book can be purchased from Amazon.

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