(24 January 1961 / South Africa)

Suspicions Of Me

Would have loved this dress – lilac, crinkly, perfect
for a fairy – but the bunch of purple imitation roses
on the left shoulder spoils the effect AND the style,
the way it hangs straight down without form makes
me look like a coloured ball on thin legs, thus quite

atrocious at best – I fail to conjure a Mary Poppins
scene in it: where one enters a picture and fly away
with Pea Blossom and Mustard Seed, the fairies of
long ago– I had better wash my face before going
shopping since the goo I pasted on it in an attempt

to cover the allergic swelling caused by my eating
a pizza did not have the desired effect, I look like
Madame Butterfly in Puccini’s Opera, wish I could
sing like her though falling into a sword sounds a
bit harsh, wish I could put myself in a trance ‘ere

going out so the clumsiness of affected muscles
would go away and I would be a perfect consort
for long-suffering hubby who forgets my problem
and gets angry when I bump into things & make
idiotic remarks as the little alien in my head sinks

into the depths of the big black hole in my mind in
which everything I hold dear disappears from time
to time - it keeps me working hard to replace them
thus my thoughts always seem new - I do not age
emotionally, dangerous to admit as psychologists

insist one should, so staying under the radar is the
only safe place and voicing my feelings in poetry
the only really safe channel where I can become
a snow queen in my lilac dress and play games
without offending the sensibilities of all my

rational, ethical, common-sense peers whose
suspicions of me are barely concealed…

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