Today's poem is by Judith Skillman

The Crinolines

In cages readied beside water,
in crab pots dropped from the rowboat
where an oar bleeds into an oarlock, from
land and water they come—
farthingale, petticoat, pannier.

If it is difficult to hold the umbrella steady
under rain that sheets,
think of the woman who enters the carriage
as if she were the first one
to wear the newfangled cloth of reform.

She stands, feet planted beneath
her shoulders as if she were ready
to take on the gods of satire
in a heady gust of wind.
The crinolines are burning, in lumber

piled beside a well-stocked
garage, in crinolettes and gadgetry
of the last century piled haphazardly
one on the other. In cotton
that smells of sweat and horses,

in nylon bearing the stain of blood.
The bride stands on her pedestal
wearing a bustle that has returned
for its chance to bear
the brunt of history.

Copyright © 2009 Judith Skillman All rights reserved
from Gargoyle
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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