! Where Sexy Meets Demure In A Place Called Trim
In the seat opposite in the underground
by Michael Shepherd
in the off-peak afternoon,
neat shoes, nice legs, skirt just the exact right length
where demure meets sexy in a place called trim;
well-chosen outfit; wasn’t her face
vaguely familiar in some other context?
Had we met, in Tahiti, Cuba, Necker Island,
or on some other sandy shore?
Met, yet not spoken? She offered me no clue..
Ah yes – for several years,
come January grey but promise of a summer sun,
the TV infomercials fill our screens
with this year’s new holiday destinations
for the single girl who’s demure to sexy,
late thirties, but still trim.. writing her own script
but with all the real life edited out..
How often had we seen her on a sunny beach,
her swimsuit just where sexy meets demure in trim,
about to enter a blue blue sea
with no-one else about…
such the conventions of the travel film,
she too often in the shot…
or at the table, glowing in her evening outfit,
bronzed, relaxed; but still alone;
filling us in with details and the sights to see
over the lavish fruit cup on the table
before the smiling waiter brings the laden plate -
after the waterfall where we’d seen her laughing,
the market where she’d handled exotic fruit,
the boat ride, she in the stern, her hair blown back.. or
riding in safe open car through crowds of exotic natives?
did she choose her invisible cameraman on these trips?
Were they an item? Or did his compensation
begin with the local talent when he put his camera down?
Did she queue at airports, fluster over overcharging,
wait for days for thunderclouds to clear?
Arise dishevelled from an ill-advised fling with a local,
which remained unspoken as the background
to travel for the single girl?
Sitting there, ex-travel correspondent, professional,
dressed where sexy meets demure in trim,
the camera and the sound were off; she
did not meet my eyes; but if I’d had
a travel brochure with me, I could have played
a merry game with her across the way..
What a joyous disaster film her memories could have made,
what a chance the infomercials cannot take…