! Where Sexy Meets Demure In A Place Called Trim

In the seat opposite in the underground
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…

by Michael Shepherd

Comments (4)

Love the line. There's a skill in celebrating sexuality without being tacky. Good you.
Wonderful read Michael. You gave a lovely picture here and gave us a great travel monologue and advertisement. One always wonders if these 'models' are as perfect as they look, off camera. Great write. Love and hugs Ernestine XXX
Oh M! Anna said just pretty much what I was going to say. I agree on that line and I agree on this being one of your best. Of course, you should have just averted your eyes. Then again you're such a gent (as if I didn't know) ... others' thoughts would have wandered in an entirely different direction! So clever, pensive and expertly, controlledly-wandering, this piece. A real treasure. Bit like you then. t x
Wow, I think this may be one of your best Michael, it's an absolute joy to read. And I love that line - where demure meets sexy in a place called trim. Hugs Anna xxx