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?!
First the shoes:
black, shiny patent, pointed toes -
click slick high heels -
diamante trim -
Next the dress:
azure blue, swishing silk,
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
beach pyjamas -
which smell of Germolene.
And now the hat:
pert, early 1940's
black satin, measled veil -
Mottled vermilion lips break into a gap-
as Vivien Leigh teeters towards the mirror.